Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Sue A. Rieg, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.


The purpose of this study was to examine the constructs of creativity, curiosity, and academic intrinsic motivation as they related to sixth grade students. These variables were examined independent of achievement scores in order to focus on the ways in which creativity and curiosity related to the participants' academic intrinsic motivation. In today's educational climate, there are students who are disengaged in learning because of the use of standardized, high-stakes assessment. This disengagement can influence an individual's self-concept and feelings towards present and future learning. Self-determination theory served as the theoretical framework for this study as the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness was examined in relation to creativity, curiosity, and academic intrinsic motivation. Quantitative data for the 87 participants in the first phase of the study were collected using valid and reliable instruments which measured the participants' levels of creativity, curiosity, and academic intrinsic motivation. The data were analyzed using correlational tests. After identifying the levels of each of the study's constructs that, when combined, formed statistically significant patterns, the 23 participants, whose levels of creativity, curiosity, and academic intrinsic motivation combined to fit a significant relationship, completed an on-line survey in order to collect qualitative data. The data were used to determine the characteristics and factors regarding the study's variables that were common among the different groups. Results of this study indicated that participants' levels of curiosity and academic intrinsic motivation were opposite their levels of creativity. In addition, subject-specific motivation followed this same opposing relationship for low reading and mathematics motivation, as well as for high reading and social studies motivation. The most substantial findings of the qualitative portion of the study were that students with high creativity, low curiosity, and low academic intrinsic motivation levels reported that they do not have an opportunity to learn about their interests in school and that they were better at things outside of school. The researcher made recommendations to educate all stakeholders about creativity and creative behaviors, as individuals with these characteristics may be disenfranchised from learning - a factor that can influence future learning and well-being.