Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Student motivation in any setting is difficult, but proves to be a unique challenge when dealing with urban middle school students. During my student teaching experience and my first year teaching in such a setting, I have found that it is extremely difficult to instill the importance of education in these students. This thesis focuses on the effects of teachers, peers, and administration on student motivation and incorporates strategies to improve motivation through a variety of techniques. At the completion of the research section of this thesis, I discovered that it was primarily the teacher that was responsible for the motivation of these students, as suggested during the literature review, with some motivation relying on peers and very little relying on administration. My study also suggests that a shift from a teacher-centered to a student-centered classroom, incorporation of cooperative work group strategies, and clear directions and expectations set forth by the teacher are key in instilling motivation in these students.