Seminar on 21st Century Competencies
June 15-17, 2016


Knowledge, Skills, Character, Meta-Learning

On June 15-17, 2016, the Center for Curriculum Redesign will offer again its acclaimed seminar “Four-Dimensional Education: Knowledge, Skills, Character, Meta-Learning” at Harvard Graduate School of Education‘s Gutman library.

This seminar will focus on new global concepts  known as “Four-Dimensional Education” and teach the Why, What and How of 21st century competencies. The last major changes to curriculum took place in the late 1800’s as a response to the sudden growth in societal and human capital needs. However, today’s 21st century bears little resemblance to the 19th century so curricula needs to be deeply redesigned. You will learn about emergent and future needs, and new imperatives to teach and develop 21st century competencies in Knowledge, Skills, Character and Meta-Learning. Through online research and group projects, you will re-examine STEM, Humanities, Arts, and broaden your practice to include inquiry, debate, design, artistic expression and project-based learning.  The role of technology and its future will also be discussed.

The Seminar is designed to be an intense, hands-on workshop and therefore is limited to 50 participants.

 “A very thoughtful treatment of the competencies our students need to thrive in today’s (and tomorrow’s) world… will help educators understand and navigate the critical choices we are facing.”

~Carol Dweck, Stanford University, in her praise of  CCR’s book

Examples of participants’ feedback from past seminars:



The Summer Institute Is Ideal for:

PreK-12 and Higher Education:

  • Directors of Curriculum and Learning, and their staffs
  • Teachers, Professors, and Instructors
  • High-level Administrators and their change management staffs

You will learn the Why, What and How of 21st century competencies:

  • Understand the complex future facing humanity and students caused by technology and human factors; rethink educational practices for a sustainable humanity and a new economy, in light of robotics/artificial intelligence, gene editing, etc.
  • Re-prioritize knowledge, skills, character and meta-learning in the curriculum
  • Delve deeper into specific knowledge facets that need to be rethought in schools: STEM, Humanities, Arts; interdisciplinarity; major themes (global literacy, systems thinking etc.)
  • Rethink new approaches at the system and classroom levels for modern knowledge (entrepreneurship, wellness, robotics, etc.), skills (creativity in particular), character (moral, not just performance-related) and meta-learning (growth mindset and metacognition)
  • Examine practice-centered pedagogical approaches for teaching skills, character and meta-learning effectively such as inquiry, debate, projects/designs, artistic expression etc.



The Seminar* Will Cover:

Why: (Wednesday June 15)

  • The World We Live In
  • Impact of Technology
  • Innovation in an age of A.I./Robotics
What: (Thursday June 16)

  • Relevance of Knowledge
  • Rethinking Skills
  • Role of Character
  • Importance of Meta-Learning
  • Co-construction: Classroom best practices (sharing) for STEM, Humanities, Arts.
How: (Friday June 17)

  • (Continued): Classroom best practices.
  • Neuroscience of Learning
  • Education Technology


Active participation is expected throughout this Institute. Ample time will be devoted to group activities particularly on Day 2, for a judicious blend between lectures and inquiries.


Wednesday June 15:
11:00 am – 1:00 pm:  registration, lunch, introductions.
1:00 pm – 4:45 pm (break included):

Thursday June 16: (after breakfast; coffee/tea/cookies available, including during breaks)
8:30 am – 4:45 pm (breaks and lunch included).

Friday June 17: (after breakfast; coffee/tea/cookies available, including during breaks)
8:30 am – 2:00 pm (breaks and lunch included).

About the Seminar

This Center for Curriculum Redesign seminar will be led by Charles Fadel. The program is designed to help individuals and school teams rethink and learn how to redesign curricula for the modern age.  The “early bird” cost is $795/person until May 5 (please ask us for team discounts:


All sessions will take place at the Gutman Library 13 Appian Way in Cambridge MA, room GCC Area 2,3,4 at the Harvard* Graduate School of Education. Lunches and refreshments, as well as course materials including a copy of “Four-Dimensional Education”, are provided.

* this seminar is not associated with Harvard University’s offerings.

About Charles K. Fadel

Charles FadelCharles Fadel is a global education thought leader and expert, futurist and inventor:
Founder and chairman of the Center for Curriculum Redesign;
Visiting practitioner at Harvard Graduate School of Education;
Chair of the education committee at BIAC/OECD;
Co-author of recently published “Four-Dimensional Education” and best-selling  “21st Century Skills”;
Founder and president of the Fondation Helvetica Educatio (Geneva, Switzerland);
Senior fellow, human capital at The Conference Board.

He has worked with education systems and institutions in more than thirty countries. He was formerly Global Education Lead at Cisco Systems, visiting scholar at MIT ESG, and angel investor with Beacon Angels.  He holds a BSEE, an MBA, and six patents.  Full Bio at:

Professional Development Credit

We are actively exploring how this program could qualify for 16 hours toward professional development credit for various professionals, and will inform registrants prior to the seminar. Credits are not provided by Harvard University.


Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts offer a wide variety of accommodations, and we encourage participants to explore all options corresponding to their budget.  The proximity to Cape Cod also offers an alluring week-end possibility as the seminar ends at 2:00pm on Friday June 17.

Please check the schedule for information on the meals provided.