Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Linda Doty


Research has indicated that anxiety adversely affects learning. Schools charged with student learning and achievement need to address anxiety. However, determining the efficacy of anxiety prevention programs or strategies may be problematic. School leaders that wish to address anxiety with students will have difficulty in finding an anxiety prevention program or strategies that are evidence-based. This places a burden on school leaders’ decisions regarding the allocation of additional resources to implement such services. The purpose of the current study is to examine the perceptions of K-2 school teachers’ perceptions on school anxiety in the children they serve. Information obtained from teachers’ perspectives may be used to help with future prevention efforts in schools. The study used a qualitative methodology, specifically, phenomenology. Subjects included K-2 school teachers. Interviews were transcribed and coded, using manual coding. The emergent themes were used as a way to recognize and categorize student anxiety at the K-2 level. The findings revealed that signs of anxiety in primary students include tears, withdrawn, acting out, and body language. Causes of anxiety at the primary level include fear of the unknown, home life, Common Core, and technology. Furthermore, the findings verified the theoretical framework of this study – the ACT theory. The ACT theory posits that anxiety causes lack of concentration and brain fatigue. The findings in this study revealed that anxious students could not think clearly, focus, or finish work. Additionally, possible viable strategies or programs used by teachers were identified that decrease anxiety in students.

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