Date of Award


Degree Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)




A dissertation in the Isabelle Farrington College of Education and Human Development presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education.

Committee Chair

Suzanne Marmo-Roman, Ph.D.

2nd Reader

T. Lee Morgan, Ph.D.

3rd Reader

James E. Zavodjancik, Ed.D.


Using a mixed-methods convergent design within an Improvement Science framework, this Improvement Science Dissertation in Practice analyzed the effects of embedding self-regulation breathing techniques into the phonemic segmentation lesson versus conducting the techniques prior to the lesson or not at all. The project was conducted across two elementary schools, using six kindergarten educators and classes. The research began with a pre-assessment, followed by two days of applying or withholding the intervention across three groups (no intervention, isolated intervention, embedded intervention), and concluded with a post-assessment. The researcher conducted the academic lessons while the educators conducted inattention behavioral observations. After each lesson, debriefing interviews were conducted. One week later, the researcher conducted a final interview. The quantitative data (assessments and observations) informed the qualitative data (interviews) to determine outcomes. The data revealed statistically significant changes across all groups’ academic scores. However, qualitative data suggested that this improvement may have been due to unintended variables such as mindfulness tools and the instructional model. Additionally, the data revealed no statistical significances in inattention for the no intervention group, approaching significance in two inattention categories in the isolated intervention group, and statistical significance in one inattention category for the embedded intervention group, thereby supporting the working theory that using self-regulation strategies may be helpful in improving inattention and thus equitable learning access then not using any at all. The study also revealed an overwhelming need to support educators with further training in an on-going coaching model to allow for more impactful SEL integration practices.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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