Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Educating for 21st century global capacities: Bridging the gap between intention and practice—a multiple case study
by Sawch, Deborah Joan, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2013, 263; 3590396
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines whether, why, and how teachers within a school district redefine and refine curriculum, instruction, and assessments to inform more globally-oriented and performance-based educational experiences for themselves and their students, specifically around global literacies and capacities. This cross-case study involves four teachers across the K-12 spectrum of a single school district. The district has taken specific steps to articulate a mission and gain alignment around 21st century readiness. It has begun to work with teachers and administrators to engage in a process that invites them to examine and refine their pedagogical approaches that include the use of a 21st century framework for critical, creative and global thinking they have adapted to inform individual and school-wide teaching and learning. Data include curricular documents, assessments, and student work; classroom observations; and administrator and teacher interviews. By focusing on the process associated with the use of a framework contextualized within the larger initiative, this study uncovers an emerging cross-disciplinary K-12 21st century discourse that teachers develop and use together, enabled by their participation in formal and informal professional learning communities; and their use of an adapted 21st C framework, accompanied by perceptions of enhanced practice and improved student outcomes. Findings from this study help bridge the research gap between intention and practice around 21st century teaching and learning and provide encouraging yet cautionary examples of meaningful and systemic ways that teachers make sense of and refine their work when they participate in a district-wide effort to prepare both themselves and their students for the 21st century.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vinz, Ruth
Commitee: Marsick, Victoria, Natriello, Gary
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
Department: Arts and Humanities
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Curriculum development
Keywords: 21st century teaching and learning, Creative thinking, Critical thinking, Global education, Innovations in education, Professional development, Professional learning communities
Publication Number: 3590396
ISBN: 978-1-303-30037-0
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