Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan O'Connor

Second Advisor

Vicki L Olson


In schools throughout the country, students are not engaged in classroom learning. When students not engaged in the classroom, they become disenchanted with the entire school experience, which may eventually lead them to drop out of school before their high school graduation. There are groups of students who are at higher risk for dropping out of school early. Students who receive special education services are among some of those who are at risk for dropping out of school. I had often encountered students who were not engaged in the classroom and I did not want my students to become dropout statistics. As a result, I decided to research ways to increase classroom engagement among my own students. In order to keep my research manageable in terms of finding ways to increase classroom engagement, I decided to focus on the learning styles and whether or not teaching to those learning styles increased classroom engagement for my group of five students who received Special Education Services at a local urban middle school in the Midwest. I reviewed literature on reading strategies for students with disabilities, learning styles and struggling students, drama based instruction and school connectedness. I created a design plan for the study and recruited participants.


SC 11.MAE.2010.Wilk.TL