Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Dissertation



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


Susan K. Gardner

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Allan

Third Committee Member

Nancy Fishwick

Additional Committee Members

Gail Tudor

Moira O’Neill


The healthcare system is dynamic and complex and requires innovative problem-solving to address inherent challenges and incorporate new knowledge and technology that may impact care. Nurses, as healthcare providers, need to be creative problem-solvers; hence nursing faculty must provide students with a foundation for problem-solving skills during their formative academic years. These skills may be enhanced through pedagogies that foster active learning supported by classroom participation. Feminist pedagogy reforms the faculty/student relationship and empowers students to be active participants in learning.

The purpose of this study situated in feminist pedagogy was to determine factors that influence classroom participation of junior-and senior-level nursing students enrolled in pre-licensure baccalaureate of science programs in the New England region. A quantitative, non-experimental, comparative, survey research design utilizing the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) and Assessment of Classroom Participation Scale (ACPS) were distributed on-line to junior-and senior-level nursing students enrolled in pre-licensure nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in the New England region from September 29, 2014 to November 10, 2014. Two hundred and seventy-four nursing students participated.

Descriptive analysis was executed to analyze demographic data and responses to the CUCEI survey. Independent t-tests were utilized to determine a statistically significant difference between demographic groups and responses to the CUCEI survey. Pearson correlation was used to determine a relationship between scores on the ACPS and CUCEI. No statistically significant (p <.001) relationship between factors that influence classroom participation as measured by the CUCEI and reported classroom participation as measured by the ACPS for this sample of students was found. However, there were significant differences between subscales on the CUCEI. Classroom participation was reported to increase when faculty were personal and equitable with students. Classrooms that support cooperation and cohesion amongst students were reported to increase participation. Innovation teaching strategies and individualization allowing shared governance in the classroom were reported to decrease classroom participation. These results may provide insight for nursing faculty to incorporate behaviors in the classroom that engage students in learning and have implications for policy and future research.