Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Timothy Lafferty


The problem that prompted this study was that kindergarten through 5th grade teachers were struggling to find appropriate interventions to support the rising number of students exhibiting executive function deficiencies (EFD). The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the experiences and perceptions of local elementary teachers about students with EFD, about instructional strategies used to help focus EFD students, and about teachers’ professional needs to work effectively with EFD students. Diamond’s core characteristics of EFD served as the conceptual framework guiding this study. The research questions focused on teachers’ experiences and perceptions of strategies used for students with EFD, and of the professional training needs of teachers working with EFD students. A case study design was used to capture the insights of a purposefully selected sample of 12 elementary teachers through semi structured interviews and a focus group interview. Emergent themes were identified through an open coding process, and findings were developed and checked for trustworthiness through triangulation, rich descriptions, and member checking. The findings revealed that teachers perceived that EFD students responded best to active learning and technology-rich lessons delivered within a structured environment. A professional development project was created to provide teachers with instructional and technology strategies and interventions to engage and focus students with EFD. This study has implications for positive social change by offering teachers strategies to improve the performance and engagement of students with EFD.