Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Raymond Legler


Much of the existing education research on student outcomes has focused on gaining a better understanding of student cognition and behavior, considering affect primarily as the role of a mediator or moderator to cognitive or behavioral outcomes. Student satisfaction with school is an affective outcome that is shaped by their relationships with their teachers. Though research on affect as an outcome has increased, it has not been well-understood and often ignored in models of understanding student outcomes. This qualitative study adds to the body of research on student affect as an outcome by collecting data from current high school students and recent high school graduates shared during reflective interviews, and assessing that data to determine how they perceived teachers’ actions in the classroom, their high school experience, and which learning outcomes they most value. Twelve current and former high school students from a large urban school district were interviewed in pursuit of answers to the following research questions: 1) what attributes or types of teacher actions were most influential on how the student felt about their school experience, and 2) which learning outcome is most important to the student – academic (cognitive), behavioral, or satisfaction with school experience (affective)?