Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Wischnowski, PhD

Second Supervisor

Deborah Leh, EdD


The purpose of this secondary data analysis quantitative study was to compare student intrinsic motivation and engagement of fourth and eighth graders to project-based learning (PBL) instructional components using the TIMSS 2019 dataset. Using the TIMSS 2019 United States context questionnaires dataset, a three-level hierarchical linear model (HLM) was applied to determine the significance of the research for science students, classrooms, and school buildings. The data included 10,115 fourth-grade students with 529 teachers in 294 schools and 8,739 eighth-grade students with 469 teachers in 278 schools. The data were analyzed using the IEA software IDB Analyzer 5.0 to work with SPSS Statistics 27. Using HLM, the study examined the relationship between the frequency of instructional practices of the components of PBL and fourth- and eighth-grade science students’ intrinsic motivation and engagement. No statistical differences were found in fourth- or eighth-grade students when compared; however, removing PBL elements from instruction possibly indicates that without PBL components, the gap in intrinsic motivation and engagement significantly increases. Therefore, recommendations include using PBL instructional components as a possible protective factor against decreasing intrinsic motivation and engagement in science classes. Moreover, it is recommended to provide students, who are in need, with access to resources or availability to more books, a student study area, and a computer to sustain or improve students’ intrinsic motivation and engagement.

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