Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A case study of 21st century skills programs and practices
by McLachlan, Kurt, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2012, 100; 3513862
Abstract (Summary)

Skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation are necessary for the 21st Century. The economy and the forums of international business and globalization demand skilled workers. Some schools in the United States are producing such workers, however it is unclear the programs and practices these schools utilize.

This study focused on one middle school that showed high academic achievement, as well as boasted a mission statement focused on global skills. The purpose of this study was to identify the programs and practices that promote the acquisition of 21st Century Skills at a school. The research questions for this study included: (1) What are the practices and programs at a school and how are these programs and practices aligned to 21st Century Skills? (2) What is the professional community of the school, and how does this professional community support the programs and practices of the school? (3) What is the perceived impact of 21st Century Skills on the culture and life of the school? The researcher used a qualitative approach to this study, which included interviews, surveys, document review, and observations to provide a full, rich story.

Themes emerged during the data collection, which validated the current literature on 21st Century Skills in schools. The International Baccalaureate was a standard 21st Century Curriculum. Alternative assessments were used throughout classes at the school. The Advancement Via Individual Determination, AVID, program meshed well with the International Baccalaureate program and focused on higher-order thinking. Data was used consistently and purposefully by instructors and school staff. Additional studies are necessary, however, to uncover how student support and intervention programs assist students in learning 21st Century Skills.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gothold, Stuart
Commitee: Hocevar, Dennis, Mafi, Gabriela
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle School education, Higher education
Keywords: 21st century skills, Education, Innovation, International Baccalaureate, Middle school
Publication Number: 3513862
ISBN: 978-1-267-44488-2
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