Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Graduate Education

First Advisor

Patricia C. Kornelis


This research study examined the effects of flexible seating on student learning, motivation, and behavior. Two classes of fifth graders participated in the study, so that there was an experimental group and a control group. Each group consisted of 23 fifth graders. The experimental group had flexible seating in their classroom for a period of three weeks. The options included bean bag chairs, floor cushions, exercise balls, and patio chairs with cushions. The control group had desks and chairs for their seating. Both groups took pre- and post-tests to determine student knowledge in the areas of reading and math. The experimental group also took a survey at the end of the three-week period to communicate their levels of motivation, engagement, and comfort with the flexible seating. The experimental group improved both their reading and math scores. The control group improved their reading scores but decreased in their math scores. Paired t-tests did not show statistically significant evidence in differences among the two groups. The student survey answers showed that the majority of students felt that flexible seating allowed them to feel comfortable, motivated, and able to concentrate. The median absolute deviation (MAD) indicated that there was no evidence of a statistically significant difference between seating options.


Action Research Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education