Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Educational Practice

Date of Defense

6-27-2017

Graduate Advisor

Dr. Jacquelyn Lewis-Harris

Committee

Dr. Gayle Wilkinson

Dr. Kim Song

Dr. Charles Granger

Abstract

In schools across the country, there appears to be an increasing focus on 21st Century Skills development. While there may be some variance among specific definitions of these skills by national groups and individual schools, review of the literature has identified eight common features among widely accepted frameworks: creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, digital literacy, social and cultural skills, and self-regulation. It is proposed that integrated curriculum should be considered an ideal method for the teaching and learning of 21st Century Skills. While neither the collection of skills designated as “21st century” in and of themselves, nor the integrated curriculum are novel ideas in education, there appears to be a gap in related literature studying the complementary relationship of the two. Surveys were conducted to measure frequency of practices associated with the integrated curriculum and teacher attitudes related to 21st Century Skills. Teachers were interviewed to identify practices and attitudes, providing data for mixed-methods analysis. An interrelationship between the integrated curriculum and the teaching of 21st Century Skills as well as barriers to best practice were identified.

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