Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Ellen Scales


The Framework for 21st-Century Learning (The Framework) is focused on the mastery of core subjects and been found to be essential to student success. Teachers in a suburban school district in Ohio were struggling to address the challenges associated with the implementation of The Framework. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine how teachers implemented the program in their classrooms. Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development guided the exploration of how elementary teachers were implementing critical elements of The Framework to scaffold literacy instruction. A qualitative case study design was used to allow the researcher to examine the ways elementary teachers were addressing the challenges of The Framework. Nine elementary teachers (grades K-3) with varying levels of experience from 2 elementary schools similar in demographics in a school district were selected to participate in the study. Each completed a questionnaire pertaining to The Framework and was observed in the classroom using a checklist based on The Framework, guided by Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of learning, and focused on best-practice literacy principles. Axial coding was used to identify patterns and themes from the questionnaires, observations, and public documents. Results indicated that educators were implementing The Framework, but were using outdated terminology, were creating misconceptions and confusion about some literature principles, and were not using student-driven assessment strategies. The findings informed creation of a professional development project that will provide elementary teachers in the district with support while integrating The Framework. This study affects positive social change by providing increased understanding of literacy instruction to enhance student learning within The Framework.