Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

John Boyd, Pamela Scott


The purpose of this case study was to examine how the K-5 elementary alternative program All Students Can Thrive (ASCT) used student-centered learning practices to influence the whole child. There is a lack of research on K-5 elementary alternative programs, such as ASCT, and specifically those that integrate student-centered learning practices to influence the whole child. Literature does not contain universally accepted interventions that are effective in the elementary alternative setting to help students return to the mainstream classroom setting better prepared to display appropriate behaviors when a student is removed from a mainstream classroom setting due to disruptive behaviors. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) has determined five major tenets that measure how educators influence the whole child and those are: healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged (ASCD, 2022). These five tenets will serve as the theoretical framework for this research on the whole child and ASCD will function as the scientific authority on the whole child for the purposes this case study.

Data collection strategies included interviews, field notes, and a document review. Analysis of data occurred in three phases: (a) coding themes from participant responses during interviews (b) analysis of interview field notes (c) document review. The analysis of the case study data was based on the theoretical proposition that educating the whole child involves children being healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged (ASCD, 2022). The credibility of the analysis was protected by triangulation of data through the coding of interviews, interview field notes, and a document review.

The results revealed that that all five tenets of the whole child were identified as a common theme or sub-theme from participant responses. Five common themes: (1) Engaged (2) Space to Thrive/Choices (3) Identify Needs/Skills (4) Confidence/Hope (5) Relationship and five sub-themes emerged from the analysis of data: (1) Challenged (2) Supported (3) Safe (4) Healthy (5) Communication.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


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