Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Whitney S. Newcomb

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine C. Mansfield

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas H. Beatty

Fourth Advisor

Dr. W. Britt Watwood


School districts continue to integrate emerging technologies and expectations for 21st century teaching and learning. This movement began with release of Goals 2000 (1994) and has continued through National Education Technology Plan (2010) that noted the “challenge for our education system is to leverage technology to create relevant learning experiences that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures.” In order to meet that challenge, schools must enlist teachers who are prepared to teach 21st century skills in the technology-rich classroom. Teacher education programs also need to align their preparation models to prepare teachers for that challenge. There are a variety of models – stand-alone instructional technology courses, online courses, content methods courses, practicum and student teaching experiences – used to achieve this. Several grant programs provided financial support in the early 21st century to help institutions implement new models of instruction for preservice teachers. Also, several frameworks emerged to guide classroom instruction as teachers implemented 21st century skills into technology-rich classrooms. The purpose of the current study was to understand teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness to teach 21st century skills in the technology-rich classroom. The study was driven by research questions which sought to understand (a) teacher preparation models in the areas of technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge, (b) teachers’ perceptions of their teacher education programs effectiveness for teaching 21st century skills in the technology-rich classroom, (c) teachers’ feelings of efficacy and self-confidence for first-year implementation, and (d) if relationships exist between particular teacher preparation models and teachers’ perceptions of effectiveness and adequacy. A mixed method design was used to explore the research questions. Twenty-nine first-year high school teachers in a technology-rich school district with a framework for 21st century skills integration participated in a survey. Six teachers participated in follow-up focus groups at the end of their first-year of teaching. The researcher used quantitative analysis for the survey and qualitative coding for the focus group interviews. The two analyses were reported together to develop findings in response to the research questions.


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