School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


James Eller


learning loss, school closure, attribution, subsequent year closures, metaphorical, qualitative, transcendental, phenomenology, qualitative


Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the lived experiences of students who suffered learning loss due to multiple school closures during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years while attending Bay District Schools (BDS) in Bay County, Florida. The theoretical framework utilized in this study was Weiner’s Attribution Theory (AT). Weiner (1974) posited that the pursuit of understanding the motivation of an individual’s behavior requires attributing one or more causes to the behavior. Using attribution, I engaged participants in their personal narratives in order to understand and interpret their experience, motivation, and dimension of behavior regarding the learning loss they may have endured during multiple school closures within the phenomenon. To address the research problem, I identified a purposive criteria sampling of 12 participants who attended BDS schools during the academic years of the phenomenon. The participants were interviewed using a semi-structured, open-ended questions that allow for supplemental questions by the interviewer or elaboration from the participant. Participants also completed a journal guided by qualitative prompts to expound on their experience. Finally, the facilitation of a focus group was conducted using semi-structured question to discuss the emerging themes from the interviews and the journals. The data was transcribed, compiled, and analyzed using Moustakas’ seven step model. The central research question focused on understanding the students’ metaphorical descriptions of learning loss resulting from the school closures of the phenomenon.