Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership (O&L)


School of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Seenae Chong


The desire for achieving greater equity in education has been a prevalent topic of research, with many studies indicating that the current education system in this country is designed in a way that exacerbates initial inequities and has a negative impact on student motivation and engagement (EOCD, 2012). While existing scholarship mostly discusses equity and engagement through the lens of curriculum and instruction, the power of physical classroom environments and aesthetic elements present in those environments is less explored. With student populations becoming more diverse, there is a greater need for new tools for teachers to utilize in pursuit of greater equity in the classroom. Through the lens of equity pedagogy, this study examined the role of aesthetics in classroom design and the potential for aesthetic consideration to increase student engagement and equity. This research study examined the ways elementary and high school teachers employ aesthetic tools, and will analyze the similarities, differences, and comparable themes found across their shared experiences. The findings contribute to those of other studies, including the ways in which centering student feelings and integrating multisensory experiences can impact learning. The findings also prompt a new discussion on the connections between student engagement and equity, which looks at factors such as comfort, inclusion, motivation, and inspiration as potential influencers on the overall quality of the learning experience.