Using qualitative methods to develop a survey measure of math and science engagement

Jennifer A. Fredricks, Ming Te Wang, Jacqueline Schall Linn, Tara L. Hofkens, Hannah Sung, Alyssa Parr, Julia Allerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Student engagement in math and science is vital to students' academic achievement and long-term participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) courses and careers. In this study, we conducted in-depth interviews with 106 students from sixth to twelfth grade and 34 middle and high school teachers about how they conceptualized math and science engagement and disengagement. Our qualitative analysis of student and teacher interviews supported the multidimensional construct of engagement outlined in the academic literature. Our analysis also revealed additional indicators that have been included in prior measures of engagement less frequently. We then described how we used this qualitative information from students and teachers to develop and validate a new student self-report measure of math and science engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalLearning and Instruction
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by National Science Foundation Grant 1503181 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Middle and high school
  • Qualitative study
  • STEM
  • Student engagement
  • Survey development

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