School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Gary Kuhne


academic motivation, alternative classroom seating, Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, self-efficacy


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Leadership | Educational Methods | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching


The use of alternative classroom seating has recently become a topic of interest in education. Many teachers have redesigned their classrooms to include many forms of classroom seating aside from traditional student desks. These forms of seating include but are not limited to: therapy balls, therapy cushions, and beanbag chairs. While this movement has certainly caused a buzz, little research has been completed that speaks to its educational impact on students when multiple forms of seating are available to students. Most critically, the potential impact of alternative classroom seating on students’ motivation and self-efficacy has also yet to be studied. This causal-comparative research study represents one of the first attempts to fill this research gap. Using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), this study examined the differences in motivational aspects present when students in middle school grades six and seven were either exposed to multiple forms of alternative seating or did not have exposure to alternative seating. Student participant data were collected from the math classes of intermediate schools in rural, southwestern Virginia. Data were then analyzed using a one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) with the subscales of the MSLQ of: self-efficacy, intrinsic value, cognitive strategy use, and self-regulation representing the dependent variables of the study. While significant differences between the two groups were not reported, this study is critical as it provides guidance for further research on the topic of alternative classroom seating and insight to the educational impact on the use of alternative classroom seating.