School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Michelle Goodwin


Flexible Seating, Primary Reading, Student Choice, Assessment


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Elementary Education


Proponents of flexible seating options within the classroom claim this simple change will transform education, improve children's engagement and learning, and renew classroom teaching. Opponents argue that such benefits are overstated because, currently, little evidence exists that eliminating desks and chairs improves learning and student engagement. In this study, the impact of flexible seating on first grade reading scores was examined and how it is implemented when teaching reading at the primary level. This quantitative research plan used the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking Kit to determine if students who chose the option of flexible seating during the reading block had differing scores than their peers using a tradition desk-chair or table-chair seating arrangement. The research was completed by collecting data from six first grade classrooms and a total of 103 students across the Rapid City Area School District. The research showed no difference in scores among the two groups as well as subgroups studied when an ANOVA was used to analyze the results. Further research of greater length of time, behavior analysis, and emotional impact based upon class size, teacher training, and years of experience would be beneficial to future study.