Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Marie Cianca

Second Supervisor

Dr. Shirley JA Green


The purpose of this qualitative study, using a phenomenological design, was to examine the perspectives of seven K-12 stakeholders and to examine their understanding and experience with flexible learning environmental designs and how the stakeholders helped to support students’ sense of place. Data were collected using semi-structured one-on-one interviews. Three key findings emerged from this study. First, fluidity and connectedness allow teachers and students to transition from big more easily to medium to small spaces within a flexible instructional model. Second, flexible learning space does a better job inclusively engaging multiple student learning preferences, and third, teachers need to become champions for a change to flexible, physical learning environments. This study provided the following recommendations for research, K-12 school district and building leaders, teachers, boards of education, and state policy makers: First, K-12 school district and building leaders must provide a district-wide mission of fluidity and connectedness for inclusivity that is grounded in a sense of place to address multiple student learning preferences. Next, by using student-centered learning approaches in flexible, physical learning environments that do a better a job of reaching more students, teachers can be change agents for greater inclusivity. Lastly, boards of education need to act on administrator recommendations for physical space that promotes equitable opportunities for greater engagement, and state policy makers must welcome design solutions from architects that safely break down barriers, preventing collaboration by increasing a variety of space adjacency, fluidity, and connectedness.

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