School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Ellen Ziegler


culture, diverse learners, differentiated instructions, intervention, diverse classrooms




The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore the lived experiences of 12-15 participants in grades 7-9 who failed the final exam in reading and comprehension at the end of the school year at a school in the Virgin Gorda school district. The central research question that guides this research is: What are the lived experiences of diverse learners in middle school classrooms who failed the final exam in reading and comprehension at the end of the school year? The theories guiding this study are Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and Albert Bandura’s cognitive theory, as they connect to the experiences of diverse learners in the classroom and are related to diversity. A phenomenological approach was used to gather first-hand stories from individuals through face-to-face interaction. Also, a triangulation method was used to collect multiple sources of data. The data sources include classroom observations, interviews, and photographs. The data was coded through bracketing chunks and representations to create descriptions and analyze themes for the finding. Three themes and eight sub-themes emerged from the study. The themes emerged were instructional engagement, classroom management and social engagement. Based on the implications of finding teachers and stakeholders must be aware of the deficiencies that takes places in middles school classrooms and provide the necessary training and tools to help students succeed. Future research should be undertaken on all four public schools in the Virgin Islands school district to get a more comprehensive and accurate view of students lived experiences.

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