Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Rural schools--Social aspects--Iowa; Teacher-student relationships--Iowa; Science teachers--Iowa--Attitudes;


The study focused on multiplex relationships (relationships that can overlap due to multiple contexts of interaction in a rural school) and their impact on science classroom performance, as measured by science standardized test scores, through the lens of Social Capital Theory. Relationships play a strong role in rural communities and education, and multiplex relationships are strong relationships, so there was a possibility of an impact from multiplex relationships on rural education. Rural science teachers across the state of Iowa, United States (n=135), participated in the study. Teachers were given a relationship average value based on the ratio of multiplex relationships to total number of students. Science test scores from the Iowa Testing Program were correlated with the respective teacher’s relationship average. The study did not show that there was any marked increase in science standardized test scores based on a teacher’s higher relationship average. In addition to this quantitative portion of the study, a follow up qualitative survey explored the rural science teacher’s perception of the impact their ability to yield success in their science students. Teacher accounts of classroom experiences with students in various levels of interactions yielded categories that were used to determine overall trends. There was an overall perception that the multiplex relationship did increase their ability to help students succeed in their science classroom, but this is contradictory to the lack of correlation on the impact on test scores.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Science Education Program

First Advisor

Dawn Del Carlo, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 117 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download