Date of Conferral







Blessing Adeoye


Twenty-first-century competencies have been identified as vital thinking and working skills for the 21st century. Students could contribute to social change by using information and communication technology (ICT) while developing 21st-century competencies, but this type of experience is not frequent at schools. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the experiences of 2 middle-school teachers and their 6th-grade students as they used critical literacy strategies and ICT to promote 21st-century competencies and critical democracy in a Midwestern public school. This case study was guided by the critical democracy, critical pedagogy, and competency-based education theories. The research questions asked what the experiences of the teachers and the students were, what were the reflections of the teachers about their teaching practices, and what were the students’ reflections about their learning experiences. Data were gathered through interviews, students’ online discussion forums, and artifacts. An adapted analytic induction process was used to analyze the data and explain the phenomenon. The key findings generally supported the framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21), which is a coalition of businesses, education leaders, and policymakers whose goal is to promote 21st-century competencies in schools. However, the findings indicated that when applying the P21 Framework for social change purposes, an international human rights perspective needs to be added. This study demonstrated how students can develop 21st-century competencies through the implementation of ICT to address injustice and inequity in society and contribute to positive social change.