Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Brad Hanson

Third Advisor

Dr. Dennis Cooper


The purpose of this study was to examine the use of flexible seating in southwest Missouri classrooms. Four research questions guided the study based on the conceptual framework of Eric Jensen. The work of Jensen (2005) was selected as the conceptual framework due to his focus on the use of movement and how it impacts the brain. The research population consisted of 119 school districts from 25 counties in southwest Missouri. Participants in the study included elementary principals and classroom teachers in the first through fourth grades. Of the participants, 107 teachers completed a survey specific to the use of flexible seating. Principals were asked to provide data from thirdgrade classrooms, which included DRA scores from fall, winter, and spring assessments and behavior incident referrals for the school year. The principals also identified the classrooms as utilizing either flexible seating or traditional seating. Survey results indicated overwhelming support for flexible seating, and participants expressed the belief that flexible seating benefits all students academically and behaviorally and is beneficial for students with sensory concerns. The DRA data and behavior incident referrals were compared using a t-distribution chart to determine if any statistical differences existed between flexible seating classrooms and traditional seating classrooms. The individual school data did not reveal a significant difference between flexible seating classrooms and traditional seating classrooms.


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