Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Second Advisor

Dr. Ryan Guffey

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


Research in the area of 21st century learning suggested the American public education system lacked educational preparation for students to compete in a global/connection economy. The United States performed lower than other nations on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 reading performance. However, the United States had a higher number of 21st century skills and knowledge embedded in the curriculum. The 21st century skills, referred to as the 4Cs (collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking) served as the foundation of this research. Moreover, while the United Sates performance on the PISA was no match to other developed nations; the country ranked above competitors in other international indexes such as the Global Competitiveness Index and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The researcher analyzed data using an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMCC), and Chi-Square tests for independence and goodness of fit, to seek a possible relationship between the number of 21st century skills included within the 2012 reading curriculums in the countries of Finland, Singapore, and the United States and compared to reading scores measured by the 2012 PISA. For the null hypotheses numbers one through five the researcher applied a PPMCC to the data by comparing a single 4C to the score of each researched country for reading PISA results. With exception to null hypothesis three, a significant inverse relationship existed between the number of 21st century skills included within the 2012 reading curriculums and the 2012 PISA reading scores of the researched countries. Although null hypothesis three was not significant, an observable inverse relationship did exist. This study revealed when a country scored higher on the PISA 2012, the total number of 21st century skills included in the reading curriculums were lower. Additionally, students within the American educational system may benefit from increased focus on academic performance and instructional design to harness creativity and develop an entrepreneurial spirit.


Copyright 2016