This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Elementary Teachers’ Perceptions of Teacher-Student Relationships and Associations with Project Lead the Way




Kizer, Ash

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Curriculum and Teaching


This study is motivated by the primary research question, “Is Project Lead the Way (PLTW) instruction associated with elementary teachers' perceptions of their relationships with students and how?” Previous research has attempted to identify predictors that would positively impact teacher-student relationships (TSRs), however few studies have sought to understand associations between TSRs and instructional styles. The purpose of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study was to explore associations between the teacher participants’ perceptions of their TSRs and their use of the PLTW curriculum. The two-phase investigation obtained quantitative results from a 19-item online survey of 83 elementary teachers in a public school district and then followed up with interviews of nine purposefully selected individuals. A mixed regression analysis of the quantitative data from the present study found that teachers from the PLTW-trained group had significantly lower STRS-SF scores (B = -2.713, β = -.287, t = -2.625, p < .05). The equation explained about 14 percent of the variance in STRS-SF scores (R^2 = .139, Adj. R^2 = .095). Two meta-inferences were developed from four themes that emerged from a line-by-line analysis of the qualitative interview data. Overall, this study found that the quantitative and qualitative strands of data combined to show that significantly lower STRS-SF scores within the PLTW group related to a supplanting of the teacher’s role as facilitator and a limitation of opportunities for student-centered instruction.