School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)



Identity Theory, Perception, Phenomenology, Symbolic Interactionism


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education


The research describes a qualitative, transcendental phenomenological investigation of students’ perceptions of the reflected appraisals they receive from the college community regarding their behaviors. The study includes 11 first-year college student participants from the School of Education at Higher Matters University, a pseudonym. A pseudonym was assigned to each participant to protect privacy. Data collection utilized focus groups with the sample in two groups, and semi-structured interviews with each participant. Both efforts were accurately transcribed. Observations of the students in the classroom setting served as a third means to gather data, focusing on students’ body language, appearances of comfort, engagement, and participation. Data analysis operationalized Moustakas’ (1994) qualitative, phenomenological strategies to thematically cluster data across participant responses. The themes were reduced to the essential meaning constructs common across the sample. Member checking gave participants the opportunity to check the transcript for accuracy and to provide comments on the transcripts as they desired. Lastly, auditing of the derived text was accomplished by select colleagues to ensure the accuracy and the descriptive veracity of interpretations.