Date of Award

Spring 3-27-2019

Document Type

Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Guadalupe Solis

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrick Ainsworth

Third Advisor

Dr. Keith Larick


Purpose: The learning environments provided for today’s students demand worldwide attention in order to successfully meet the pedagogical needs of education and integrate strategies to innovate and enhance digital learners. The physical environment and arrangements in elementary school classrooms are one such way to address the pedagogical needs of education. They explain that a 21st-century classroom must promote creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. Many school districts across the country are experimenting with implementing flexible seating components in classrooms throughout their schools. Recent research on flexible seating in the classroom has revealed that it creates a rigorous learning environment that allows students to utilize the 4 Cs of Common Core: communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. In addition, the past decade, professional organizations and workplaces have been charged with an examination of workplace environments to meet the needs of their employees. Thus, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe and examine elementary school teachers’ (Grades 3-6) perceptions of the implementation of flexible seating in the elementary school setting.

Methodology: This phenomenological study consisted of conducting in-depth interviews to describe elementary school teachers’ (Grades 3-6) perceptions of the implementation of flexible seating in the elementary school setting. Purposeful sampling consisted of a target population of 12 elementary school teachers (Grades 3-6) who teach at rural schools in Fresno County located in the Central San Joaquin Valley in California.

Findings: Major findings include academic effects such as increase in student achievement, accountability, ownership, staying focusing, and student engagement. Major findings also include social effects such as collaboration, working well with others, and feeling safe. Some challenges of implementation of flexible seating and the reactions of students include feeling comfortable, classroom management, and students love it.

Conclusion: Based on the findings, many conclusions were drawn that created a list of implications for action.

Recommendations: Recommendations for further research are outlined in Chapter V.