Date of Award

Spring 3-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Second Advisor

Dr. Jason Anderson

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Abstract

The focus of this study was school transformation to accommodate “new literacies, skills, and dispositions that students need to flourish in a networked world” (Richardson, 2016, p. ix). Many schools operate within a traditional model developed during the Industrial Revolution to fit the need for efficiency and compliance (Robinson & Aronica, 2015). However, according to Robinson and Aronica (2015), “These systems are inherently unsuited to the wholly different circumstances of the twenty-first century” (p. xxiii). The purpose of this study was to determine if student choice of where to sit or type of seating positively impact student engagement. Observations were conducted in classrooms to identify whether students had a choice in where they sat; the types of seating available; and whether each student was engaged, compliant, or off-task as defined by a scoring guide. It was determined there is a positive significant difference in the engagement level of students who have a choice in where they sit as compared to students who are assigned to seats. It was also determined there is a positive significant difference in the engagement level of students who were offered flexible seating options compared to students who were seated in traditional desks or at tables with chairs. There are many opportunities to learn from this study and to change educational practices based on the theoretical framework about student engagement and the decline in student engagement according to Gallup polls (Gallup, 2016). The findings of this study bring additional awareness to student engagement and what factors impact learning in the classroom.

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