Date of Award

Spring 3-25-2016

Document Type

Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jeffery Lee, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Cindy Petersen, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia Mark, Ed.D.


As education continues to evolve and change, it is instrumental that the system be designed to meet the global needs of students so they can compete and be successful in a 21st century economy. To ensure this, school site administrators must be given the skills and training to establish systems and create a 21st century environment for teachers and students. As businesses evolve into global entities, the educational focus has shifted to ensure students are provided the opportunity to proficiently learn the top 21st century skills: collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking, otherwise known as the 4Cs. It is of equal value for the instructional teachers and leaders to be provided the professional development to implement these skills. Therefore, the purpose of this ethnographic, qualitative study was to further explore leadership coaches who practice the blended coaching model with an emphasis placed on the 4Cs of 21st century learning skills. This study looked to explore additional recommendations by earlier researchers to build upon their studies and recommendations to further explore the influence of the blended coaching model within educational leadership. The data collection for this study consisted of conducting individual interviews, observations of workshops, and review of artifacts used within the Tier 2 credentialing program. The coaches who participated in this study focused on answering four questions regarding how the 4Cs of 21st century learning skills were implemented within their instructional coaching of their principal coachees, and then reflected upon how their principal coachees integrated the 4Cs into their leadership practice within their school sites. It appears coaches who practice the blended coaching model integrate collaboration and communication skills and strategies throughout the coaching process while integrating difference components of creativity and critical thinking in to support their coachee in the coaching process. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that school districts and leaders continue to implement leadership coaching as an integral component of the professional development process within their educational system. Funding for leadership coaching needs to be a priority within the district, coaches need to be retained from within the district, and administrators, especially administrators who have recently exited the Tier 2 credential program, need to be given additional support systems in order to become successful school leaders.