Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Shannon Grave


This case study addresses how to invigorate student motivation and engagement, which suffered a serious decline after an extended period of remote learning due to COVID-19. Conventional teaching methods have demonstrated shortcomings in meeting these challenges, so this research highlights the potential efficacy of student choice in reshaping educational dynamics and improving scholastic achievement. Utilizing a case study research approach, this investigation was conducted in an International Baccalaureate (IB) private school in Munich, Germany. Data was aggregated from a sample of 89 students, aged 12 to 14 years, from four Grade 7 humanities classes.Student choice was introduced to the curriculum content and assessments iteratively, gradually increasing the level of student autonomy. Teacher feedback, student academic records, and the scope and sequence furnished a robust matrix for analysis. Supplementing the analysis of student marks, a survey provided nuanced insights from educators. Additionally, a comparative analysis of the scope and sequence from a similar school served as a comparison group. This study manifested an average of 22% gains in student academic marks and fostered a more collaborative and co-determined learning environment, where the gap between teacher and student roles diminished. The insights gained underscore the potential of embedding student choice within pedagogical frameworks to significantly elevate student motivation, engagement, and academic achievement without reducing instructional rigor.