Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Are graduates of teacher preparation programs adequately prepared with the skills and knowledge to teach in the 21st century classroom? This study consisted of a quantitative content analysis to investigate the presence of 21st century knowledge and skills within a stratified random sample of teacher preparation programs in the United States as measured by the 21st Century Learning Framework. Based on the current literature, the researcher identified 21st century competencies: global awareness; digital competencies; critical thinking; collaboration; cross-cultural; communication; and problem solving. For null hypothesis numbers two through eight, the researcher determined how closely the institution’s mission statements, course descriptions, syllabi, and other documents corresponded to the quantified 21st century framework. She then calculated the variance and tested the hypotheses using a z-test for a difference in proportion. For null hypothesis number one a z-test for difference in means between the ratings of the public teacher preparation program’s sample and the private teacher preparation program’s sample was used to determine if there were significant differences. In addition, the data was analyzed to determine if a statistical difference existed between public and private institutions’ evidence of 21st century knowledge and skills. The results of the analysis supported the alternate hypothesis, noting evidence of 21st century knowledge and skills within the sample of teacher preparation programs. The analysis also supported the alternate hypotheses; there was evidence of digital literacy and critical thinking competencies in teacher preparation programs. The research did not support the alternate hypotheses related to global awareness, collaborative, cross-cultural, communication, and problem-solving competencies, thus revealing 21st century knowledge and skills were not evident in teacher preparation programs. Public institutions statistically scored higher on digital literacy skills while private institutions scored higher on critical thinking skills. Teacher preparation programs must make programmatic changes to better prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to effective lead in the 21st century classroom.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.