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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

21st century skills as equity pedagogy to teach academic content standards: A socioeconomically diverse district's implementation
by Schwartz, Robert, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2010, 135; 3418267
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to systematically understand how Harbor Heights Unified School District, a socioeconomically diverse district, decided upon, implemented, and evaluated a plan to foster 21st Century skills in their students and continued to improve its API scores. The hypothesis of this dissertation, based on an extensive review of the literature, was that the 21st Century skills are a highly effective pedagogy for teaching academic content knowledge, particularly for students of color. Anecdotal and statistical data bore out that HHUSD has made great strides in enacting this type of program.

Four major findings emerged that can serve as a blueprint for other districts wishing to embark on this ambitious undertaking: (a) the district was clearly aligned around this endeavor from the board president to the superintendent and his staff to the school site principals, (b) the district involved all stakeholders in meaningful ways to create the strategic plan, (c) data drives decision-making at all levels in the organization, and (d) as a Professional Learning Community, the district fixes the outputs required for their schools and provides support for individual schools in mapping their own courses to get there. These themes serve as a basis for action at HHUSD and can be effectively applied to any type of district reform.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garcia, Pedro
Commitee: Crew, Rudy, Wohlstetter, Priscilla
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Pedagogy, Curriculum development
Keywords: 21st century skills, Assessments, Balanced curriculum, Content standards, District implementation, Equity pedagogy, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Socioeconomic diversity
Publication Number: 3418267
ISBN: 978-1-124-16412-0
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