Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Norman Weston

Second Advisor

Don Angelaccio

Third Advisor

Michael Lubelfeld


The purpose of this study was to seek out and identify the traits, attitudes and characteristics of innovative, creative and highly effective teachers within a suburban elementary school district. Participants included five elementary teachers who were identified by their colleagues as being exceptionally innovative, creative and fostering 21st Century Skills. The research method for this qualitative case study consisted of teacher interviews, student interviews, and multiple classroom observations by the researcher. From this, seven themes, or practices, of highly innovative, creative teachers of 21st Century Skills emerged: (1) See the Teacher as Lead Learner (2) Encourage Learner Reflection (3) Foster Class Community and Relationships (4) Give Students Choice To Instill Ownership (5) Employ Project/Problem-Based Learning (6) Make Connections to Real Life (7) Encourage Teacher and Student Collaboration. Recommendations for district leadership are included to promote and encourage the application of these practices throughout the district.