Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type

Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Dr. Jay Lal


The issue of unmotivated students is a common concern of most teachers. Teachers need more understanding of the complexity of internal and external motivation, and the classroom and school-wide practices that will mitigate student amotivation and keep students in school. Rural schools, which often possess fewer resources than their urban and suburban counterparts, are particularly vulnerable to student disengagement. Rural teachers need more knowledge and classroom strategies that can support student motivation and encourage high school persistence.

This research discussed the work of Patricia Hardre’ and other experts in the field of rural school motivation. The research explored the complexity of student motivation in rural areas, considered trends and anomalies in the literature, surveyed student motivation perceptions in one small K-12 school, and investigated paramount classroom applications to improve student engagement.