Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Sarah Edwards


The purpose of this study was to explore student's perceptions of interactions with their teachers in order to better understand the underpinnings of motivation and achievement. The theoretical lens that framed the research was a relational model of teaching that emphasizes the impact of teacher caring on student engagement. Three English language learners who attended a middle school in a small, rural-suburban school district were asked to share stories of their experiences with teachers in a three-phase interview format. The themes and issues identified in the narratives of the three English language learners substantiated the importance of caring teacher behaviors for student engagement and academic achievement.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Teacher Education and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Reading University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2006 Marion Kristine Burns.