Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Cheri A. Toledo


Researchers have shown that movement increases brain function, improves mental health, supports cognitive development for students, and reduces sedentary time, all which can influence overall health. Research concerning learning with intentional movement is limited. In the United States, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are being mandated, and teachers are challenged to teach the standards creatively and to maximize time used for instruction. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences and perceptions of elementary general education (GE) teachers who taught CCSS using a kinesthetic learning plan (KLP). Bandura's self-reinforcement and social learning theories provided the conceptual framework; the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis were used to structure the study. Research questions were framed to understand how the teachers experienced teaching the KLP and their perceptions related to how students learned the CCSS. Data were elicited through individual interviews with 11 GE teachers from primarily rural areas in the western part United States. In vivo coding and iterative analyses revealed themes and findings. Themes included teacher understanding (confidence and comfort), implementing resources (creativity and resourcefulness), teacher feelings (pressure and success), making the mind-body connection, and teacher beliefs and perceptions about their practices. Teachers perceived KLPs as useful in teaching the CCSS and experienced support for expanding their teaching practices. Positive social change implications include helping teachers maximize instructional time and helping students achieve standards and address health needs.