Professional Trajectories

Schools face many challenges, yet they are ripe with potential to embrace 21st Century skills and technologies. With new digitally mediated learning opportunities, we can learn much from those that are innovating early and often with 21st century technologies.

The 21st Century teaching project (21CTP) is an effort to once again look closely at innovative practitioners for their professional development trajectories that brought them to practices we want to see much more of. These early adopters are easy to recognize, and when we track their professional growth. This work informs: 

  1. Teacher training and preparation programs,

  2. Effective ongoing professional development,

  3. School leadership that fosters 21st century teaching, and

  4. School technology policy and budgeting for optimal impact.

With the rise of expectations, changing needs in the 21st century workplace, and shifting technologies that transform basic literacies, it is essential that we not only understand what powerful learning models are emergent in practice, but that we make sense of how those practitioners grew into the point of being comfortable with those practices. In this, traditional models of teacher preparation, development, instructional leadership, and policy are showing needed updating to serve these teachers.

Because the initial findings for this project indicate a complete step away from traditional models of training, development, leadership, and policy, the 21CTP is only the first step in a much larger, nationwide, effort to understand what it takes for teachers to connect, grow, design, facilitate, assess, and share 21st Century teaching practices.

This work is limited to mapping professional trajectories as an initial step in understanding questions like; What are best practices in the digital age? How do classrooms look/work? What should leaders do to influence growth in teacher practice? How can we evaluate 21st Century teaching? 

Not knowing the answers, frameworks, or even the basic language to use around 21st century teaching, I invite you to join me in developing this work for both dissertation and publication. Please feel free to respond, challenge, help think, and build a working model for professional development and leadership towards 21st century teaching. 

I’m always available at sdikkers @ gmail.com

The 21st Century Teaching Project


Seann Dikkers’ dissertation project at the University of Wisconsin - Madison

The Challenge21CTP_Updates/Entries/2011/11/23_Blue_bird_day.html

21CTP Study

Will update as completed

Theme One
Teacher Preparation21CTP_1.html
Analyzing Data21CTP_Analysis.html
Theme Two 
Beginning Narratives21CTP_2.html


Future Study

Theme Three

Impact of Leadership

Theme Four

Refining Practice

Theme Five


Literature Review21CTP_Lit_Review.html