Thesis Title

Transforming Education: Engaging Students in the Second Decade of the 21st Century

Graduation Date

Spring 2012

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


In the second decade of the 21st Century, there is an increasing awareness that the U.S. education system, once the bedrock of American prosperity, is no longer adequate for students to be successful as employees and citizens now, or in the future.

Policy makers are also increasingly fearful that the United States risks its capacity to compete in a global economy if its students are limited in their ability to reach 21st century competencies due to outdated teaching methods and assessments. While Federal and State governments struggle to create the educational environment necessary for change, it falls upon principals and teachers to rethink what is possible in their own schools and their own classrooms.

A survey of the current literature shows demonstrable need for teaching 21st century competencies, as well as new understandings of how international models may provide inspiration and agency for transformative change. This paper therefore relates current thinking about the need for teaching 21st century competencies and discusses ways in which student engagement can drive new paradigms for learning and teaching that may be developed within the US school system.

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