Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Dr. Jose Lalas, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Dr. Christopher Hunt, Ed.D.

Dr. Donna Campbell, Ed.D.


school capital, student engagement, school setting, social capital, social networks


Educational Leadership


School Capital has been shown to affect school setting, effectiveness and student achievement. Schools are a system within society that utilizes the social resources of social networks to develop an engaged school setting. This study applied a conceptual framework based on Bourdieu's concepts of social capital. This study examined the school capital, the mobilization of social networks, and social resources available for student engagement at an intermediate school. This qualitative study used an interview protocol and narrative inquiry approach. Using NVivo software, eleven participant interviews were coded and analyzed for emergent themes in the areas of school capital. Four dominant themes emerged, these included: Obligations to the learning process; social networks that highlighted relationships between school members; a sense of trust between student and teacher; and a positive relationships within the school community. The findings from this study suggest that feelings of connection to teachers, students, and their peers helped to engage students in the classroom. Students from the study indicated that high expectations, high interest projects, and socially engaged activities provided opportunities for student engagement. Implications and recommendations for practice and future research are also discussed as part of this study.


© 2016 Aaron Keith Oliver

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781369058727