An Examination into a Year of Physics I: Community and Motivation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Education, Department of Teacher Education

First Advisor

Christopher Worthman

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kuzmic

Third Advisor

Joseph Ekpo


This Action Research investigation explored the issues of motivation and community within a Physics I course. I perceived two major issues in my Physics I class: a lack of a sense of community within the class and a lack of motivation to complete the work needed to learn physics.

My Action Research focused on the questions: "What motivates Physics I students?" and "How does community, or lack thereof, affect my students motivation?"

Through participant observation and student interview and through the constant comparison method of data analysis, this study discerned three themes generally negatively affecting student motivation and community: the teacher, mathematics, and homework.

This study illuminated actions necessary in a physics classroom to increase student motivation and foster the formation of a community of learners.


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