Graduation Date

5-2022

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Education

Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Matthew E. Davis, PhD

Second Reader

Rebecca Birch, EdD

Abstract

Returning from an online and hybridized learning experience, in the wake of a global pandemic, offers opportunities to integrate new strategies for student engagement and meeting academic standards. This research uses a theoretical framework that includes critical pedagogy (Freire, 2000), Universal Design Learning (Novak & Tucker 2021) and a constructivist approach (Bada & Olusegun, 2015) to blended learning. Tucker (2020) has shown that blended learning shifts classroom workflow, encourages grading practices that are sustainable, fosters partnerships between the teacher and student, and encourages students to take an active role in tracking, assessing, and reflecting on their own learning. This qualitative research focused on AP classroom practices, and included 61 high school advanced placement (AP) English students. It used a constructivist worldview with a phenomenological approach to specifically elicit student perspectives on blended learning. Instruments used for data collections included lessons, interviews, documents, and audiovisual and digital materials. Research findings revealed that art helps students connect literary concepts such as themes, symbolism, imagery, and plot to English course content. Second, students found others’ viewpoints interesting when given the opportunity to collaborate. Finally, it was found that when students find bridges into authentic and critical inquiry and conversation develop, students also have greater interest and personal connection. This research has important implications for how teachers can provide the space for students to create change in their school environments, and more equitable access to learning, as well as the kinds of professional development and training that could be made available for teachers to incorporate blending learning strategies in a post-pandemic learning environment.

IRB Number

11003

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