CCR Releases New Book, “Education for the Age of AI”

CCR is delighted to announce its recent and highly timely new book, Education for the Age of AI (CCR, 2024).

This new book builds on the global success of its former books, Artificial Intelligence in Education (CCR, 2019), Four-Dimensional Education (CCR, 2015), and 21st Century Skills (Wiley, 2009).

There is no hiding from Artificial Intelligence. Its impact on humankind, including education, will be significant in the coming years. Absent comprehensive adaptation, education systems will become increasingly unstable, unable to balance all that is required of them.

This AI-powered wave must encourage educators to deeply, yet carefully, reconsider Why, What, and How students should learn. Education for the Age of AI provides the detailed map. In its pages, educators, policymakers, and even concerned parents and students, will find troves of detailed and practical recommendations and innovative strategies for improving and modernizing education across all levels, from global policy to the local classroom.

For over a decade, CCR has devoted its entire energies to answering the question of “Why, What, and How should students learn for the 21st century and the age of AI?” This focus has uniquely positioned CCR to lead these discussions as AI’s impact grows. 

Reviewers have kindly called the book “exceptionally deep and exceptionally broad,” “fabulous,” and “fantastic.” But we invite you to formulate your own opinion, and most critically, “think globally and act locally.”

Charles Fadel, Founder & Chairman

CCR’s Framework Venn diagram of Knowledge, Skills, and Character overlapping, with Meta-Learning surrounding all three and the learner in the center. An arrow with purpose, agency, and identity moving through motivation points to the right.

4D Competencies Framework Version 1.2 Released by CCR

CCR’s 4D, or 4-Dimensional, Framework was first published in 2019. The framework’s core principle, that students must develop in four dimensions – Knowledge, Skills, Character, and Meta-Learning – to best serve themselves and society, has not changed. 

But with the rapid proliferation of AI, CCR recognized that review and revision, especially of the competencies and subcompetencies that support dimensional growth, were necessary to ensure that the framework kept pace with a changing world.  

This reflection and analysis resulted in the first significant update in the Framework’s half-decade of existence, Version 1.2. There are numerous updates embodied in this update, but at a high level the framework: 

  • Combines and relocates some competencies and subcompetencies into a more compact framework (just ten competencies and fifty subcompetencies instead of twelve and sixty respectively).  
  • Brings a focus to each competency’s emphasis, or what is most critical to target when teaching the competency in light of AI’s impact on society.  
  • Highlights why students should learn through the Cross-Dimensional Drivers of Motivation, Identity, Agency, and Purpose.

These changes are reflected and expanded upon in CCR’s just-released new book, Education for the Age of AI (CCR, 2024). Building on the global success of its former books, Artificial Intelligence in Education (CCR, 2019), Four-Dimensional Education (CCR, 2015), and 21st Century Skills (Wiley, 2009), Education for the Age of AI provides a detailed map to Why, What, and How students should learn for the age of AI.



Modern Mathematics Global Standards Announced by CCR

November 10, 2021 – The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is pleased to announce the availability of its Modern Mathematics Standards, four years in the making.

The Modern Mathematics standards for PreK-10th grade encompass traditional branches such as Arithmetic, Geometry, and Algebra, curated for relevance and augmented by more comprehensive coverage of Statistics/Probabilities and the explicit introduction of Discrete/Computational mathematics.  These two branches have been needed for the past 40 (!) years, according to an NSF report to respond to the needs of life and work.  

To quote John Allen Paulos, Mathematician at Temple University and widely published author, “Gullible citizens are a demagogue’s dream… almost every political issue has a quantitative aspect” and “numbers and probability provide the basis for statistics, which, together with Logic, constitute the foundation of the Scientific Method.”

Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Directorate for Education and Skills commented on CCR’s work, “I congratulate CCR on the work it has achieved over the last four years and its contribution to the advancement of Mathematics.  CCR has doggedly pursued an agenda of relevance and modernisation of education standards and assessments; PISA’s future and continued success will closely depend on our ability to rethink the question: What should students learn for the 21st century? This is CCR’s seminal question.”

Philanthropic co-funders of this work, MIT alumni Messrs. Jack Little (founder and chairman of MathWorks) and Ray Stata (founder and chairman of Analog Devices), stated, “Evolving standards to emphasize what matters in Mathematics for the modern world is critical for inspiring future generations of mathematicians, engineers, and scientists and for significantly better mathematical literacy for the broad population. The pandemic has sadly demonstrated how very few people truly understood important topics such as exponentials, probabilities and so on.  We are very pleased to support CCR’s initiative and its vision.”

Charles Fadel, founder and chairman of CCR, added, “The needs of this century range from deep-level understanding of important subjects/topics such as risk, statistical process control, algorithms etc. which matter to every citizen, as well as for leading-edge mathematics professions such as data scientists.  This comprehensive redesign will appeal to a significant number of advanced jurisdictions.  We are deeply grateful to Messrs. Jack Little and Ray Stata for their generosity and trust.”

@CurrRedesign @MATLAB @MathWorks @SchleicherOECD 
#4DEdu #21stcenturyskills #AIED #OECDPISA

Countries’ Competencies Index Introduced by CCR

June 25, 2021 – The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is pleased to announce the introduction of its Discussion paper “Assessing Countries’ Competencies (CCR-CSE Leading Education Series #3),” published jointly with the Center for Strategic Education. This paper wishes to promote a healthy global conversation about the necessity for societies and educators to develop and measure competencies such as Skills and Character qualities in addition to Knowledge.

CCR built the 4D Index by combining and weighing 4–8 proxy parameters per competency (e.g., corruption index for Ethics) from trusted sources (OECD, UN, WEF, WB, etc.), and based on CCR’s 4D framework (a highly researched synthesis of more than a hundred frameworks from around the world).

Charles Fadel, founder of CCR, added, “The most interesting results from the paper are:

  1. Even advanced tests like PISA and PIAAC are not correlated with how a country performs on its Competencies, so there is clearly a need for more specific instruments.
  2. Middle-income countries rise significantly when new parameters besides Knowledge, such as Mindfulness, Courage, and Growth Mindset, are introduced (witness Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, and others, in the table below).
  3. Nordic/Baltic countries perform extremely well in all respects, reflecting their UN’s Human Development Index, and perhaps owing to a social model that does not tolerate deep inequities.”

4D Index of Competencies

The paper concludes with the following critical questions:

  • How can a jurisdiction improve its education system to match the desired outcomes in Skills, Character, and Meta-Learning? Where should it put its educational energies, given its existing social capabilities?
  • Most critically in a troubled world, how can we measure the rate of change of a jurisdiction without longitudinal analysis over a decade? (Time being of the essence.) Are there proxies to measuring the adaptability of a jurisdiction, and its willingness to change?

CCR is a non-profit global organization dedicated to improving education and openly propagating its recommendations and frameworks on a worldwide basis, via answering this question: “What should students learn for the 21st century?” The CCR’s focus on relevance in education brings together international organizations, jurisdictions, academic institutions, corporations, and non-profit organizations including foundations. For more information, please Contact Us.


Q:  Does this mean CCR wants educators to replace knowledge with skills?
A. Unequivocally, no. This is an old debate and false dichotomy that died out in the US about ten years ago. Most educators worldwide recognize that Knowledge is not enough to educate a “whole child.” CCR’s framework shows Knowledge very explicitly, has written two (!) large reports on Knowledge, and has designed knowledge standards for Modern Mathematics.  Lastly, note the first paragraph of this release that states “in addition to Knowledge.” 

Q: What about the challenges posed – in conceptualization, in data sources, in construction, and in establishing validity – how have you solved them?
A.  We do not claim to have done that, as this is not a research paper. But CCR’s proxy approach is commonly used by numerous indices around the world, even in education circles: for instance, the construction of university rankings, with several competing views about which parameters matter, and their weights.  Please refer to the Preamble section of the paper.

@CurrRedesign #4DEdu #21stcenturyskills #AIED

Embedding Competencies in Disciplines

Is math appropriate to teach leadership or is critical thinking more likely? Beyond Communication and Creativity, what should language and arts focus on? After three years of research, CCR publishes its ground-breaking recommendations in a new report, Embedding Competencies within Disciplines: Deliberately, Explicitly & Systematically that describes which disciplines are most conducive to teach given Competencies. Among the findings:

  • The importance of the arts for the development of many Competencies
  • The importance of modern disciplines such as entrepreneurship for competencies that are difficult to cover via traditional disciplines (such as Courage and Leadership).

Executive Summary

While CCR’s Competencies outline a framework beyond Knowledge of what people must learn for success, teaching them explicitly can be difficult or overwhelming even for expert teachers. To explicitly teach the Competencies, a framework matching them to specific Disciplines is necessary. This system allows each Discipline to focus on specific Competencies that can be systematically designed to guarantee comprehensive coverage of Skills, Character, and Meta-learning for any individual student moving through the system. These Competencies should be matched with the disciplines best suited for their learning. Such a system also limits the scope of what teachers must incorporate and master to the most relevant and essential Competencies so as to prevent overload. CCR recommends the mapping between Disciplines and Competencies as described in the report – a strong suggestion about which Competencies should be taught in which discipline. These conclusions were reached based on both top-down (synthesis from research) and bottom-up (opinions from US State Teachers of the Year) approaches.

CCR is grateful to the Oak Foundation for its multi-year generous and trusting support.

Dr. Dirk Van Damme Welcomed to CCR

The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is very pleased to announce that Dr. Dirk Van Damme, formerly of the OECD, will join its ranks as Distinguished Senior Research Fellow, starting June 1, 2021.

Dr. Van Damme’s achievements are numerous:

  • He is, until May 31, 2021, Senior Counsellor and Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress Division (IMEP), which covers both the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) and the Indicators of Educational Systems (INES) program in the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills. He has been leading and inspiring CERI’s innovative research portfolio for the past 13 years.
  • He holds a PhD in educational sciences from Ghent University (Belgium) and is professor of educational sciences in the same university (since 1995). He was also a part-time professor in comparative education at the Free University of Brussels (1997-2000) and visiting professor of comparative education at Seton Hall University, NJ, USA (2001-2008). He was general director of the Flemish Rectors’ Conference, the main advisory body for higher education policy in the Flemish part of Belgium, between 2000 and 2003.
  • He was professionally involved in educational policy development between 1992 and 2008 and served as chief of staff of Mr. Frank Vandenbroucke, Flemish minister of education between 2004 and 2008.
  • His current interests are evidence-based innovation in education, comparative analyses of educational systems, the science of learning, and knowledge management in education.

Charles Fadel, founder and chairman of the CCR, stated, “The ability of CCR to attract a world-class expert like Dirk is a comforting proof that CCR is on the right track in its “Education Engineering™” efforts. CCR is the only organization with an official partnership with CERI, and it makes a lot of sense to continue this harmonious relationship. This is also a deep pleasure for me very personally, as Dirk has been an inspiring colleague for a decade now, a fellow traveler and critical friend of CCR, and an empathic and profound force in education improvement around the world.”

Andreas Schleicher, director of OECD’s Directorate for Education and Skills, stated, “Dirk has been invaluable to the OECD, and since the CCR has provided important inspiration to OECD’s work on the future of education and curriculum design, I hope this new role will help to strengthen our collaboration further. I wish Dirk and CCR continued success, and will rejoice in continuing to interact with them at OECD meetings.”

For inquiries, please Contact Us.

@CurrRedesign #4DEdu #21stcenturyskills #AIED

Dassault Systèmes grant for Computer Science course extension

The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is pleased to announce it has received generous funding from the Dassault Systèmes US Foundation to develop a new module on 3D design and innovation for its “4-Dimensional Computer Science (“4DCS”) courseware aimed at assisting high school teachers and students.   

The 4DCS courseware squarely aims at economic development for all jurisdictions, as it is the only profession that can participate in a global economy without having to be uprooted from one’s location, and necessitates only a low investment in an adequate computer and internet connectivity. The graduates’ outcomes include the following:

    • Computer Science 2- or 4-year college
    • Non-Computer Science college
        •  Including Computer Science Teacher, which are in extremely short supply worldwide
    • Certifications
    • Vocational Education
    • Entrepreneur (start-up)
    • Self-employed consultant
    • Employable by organization

4DCS is unique in that it offers a best-in-class-worldwide coverage that is focused on both employability and equity:

    • Exceptional and yearly-updated content (broad and deep)
    • Explicitly builds Skills and Character (social/emotional)
    • Deliberately weaves in Entrepreneurship
    • Develops student identity, agency, and purpose

It is also focused on Teachers’ professional development:  4DCS offers online live and on-demand training to span the entire curriculum and full breadth of teaching strategies that are essential for effectively teaching computer science. In addition to a guarantee of becoming classroom-ready to teach 4DCS, CCR offers micro-credentials for all areas of the content and requisite Skills, Character and Meta-Learning abilities.

Al Bunshaft, President, Dassault Systèmes US Foundation stated, “We are excited to have CCR working to deliver a new curriculum, one which introduces students to 3D and uses virtual universes to more actively engage learners in science and engineering topics. Through these experiences, students will be better prepared for careers across a range of industries.”

Charles Fadel, founder of CCR, added, “Computer Science is unique in that it allows for relatively high wages to be earned almost anywhere around the world and participate in a global economy without uprooting individuals.  The challenge is to train teachers and students to excel, to avoid delocalization through commodification.”

La Fondation Dassault Systèmes® was set up by Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company and world leader in 3D design software. La Fondation is actively contributing to transforming the learning experience by offering academic and research institutions opportunities to leverage the power of experience to learn better and faster by transforming the way people interact with, and discover, the world around them.

CCR is a non-profit global organization dedicated to improving education and openly propagating its recommendations and frameworks on a worldwide basis, via answering this question: “What should students learn for the 21st century?” CCR’s focus on relevance in education brings together international organizations, jurisdictions, academic institutions, corporations, and non-profit organizations including foundations. For more information, please Contact Us.


CCR & Brookings Analyze Jurisdictions’ Competencies’ Focus

The Optimizing Assessment for All team at Brookings, jointly with the Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR), announces a new report, Competencies for the 21st Century: Jurisdictional Progress. The report describes jurisdictions’ level of preparedness in increasing their focus on 21st century competencies (skills, character, and meta-learning—also known as “21st century skills” and “social-emotional learning”).

Already needed for educating the “whole child for the whole world” during normal times, competencies such as resilience, mindfulness, and growth mindset have been starkly highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But learning these competencies cannot be turned on at the flip of a switch—it is a process that needs to be started and sustained during good times and—especially—bad times.

The report highlights some major issues for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers:

  1. The 12 competencies are distributed reasonably similarly across the three dimensions, primarily for the skills dimension in the CCR framework, and less so for the character and meta-learning dimensions.
  2. There was a scarcity of pedagogies designed to develop student proficiencies in the competencies. Different jurisdictions varied in their methods of communicating pedagogies and in holding teachers accountable. When documentation on pedagogies were found, they rarely addressed the 12 competencies.
  3. There is clear lack of alignment across curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, which is necessary for implementation of the competencies.

For more information, please Contact Us.

MathWorks Grants CCR Funding for “21st Century Mathematics” Courseware

November 19, 2019 – The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is pleased to announce it has received support from MathWorks to develop “21st Century Mathematics” courseware, aimed at assisting high, middle, and lower school teachers and students.   

The Mathematics courseware covers ten areas of change in PISA Mathematics 2021, stemming from recommendations the CCR produced for the OECD’s PISA 2021 and Australia’s ACARAThe courseware brings together into a single cohesive implementation, all of modernized knowledge (context, content and concepts), interdisciplinarity and projects, and skills, character, and meta-learning abilities. The design will allow for self-paced student work, significant teacher professional development, and demonstrate multiple pedagogical approaches to courseware publishers.

Andreas Schleicher, director of OECD’s Directorate for Education and Skills, commended CCR’s work for its contribution to PISA Maths 2021 in a recent letter, “Starting with the Stockholm conference in 2014 in conjunction with the OECD, followed by colloquia in East Hampton, NY and Cambridge, MA and culminating with the Geneva conference in 2018, CCR has doggedly pursued an agenda of relevance and modernization of education standards and assessments, applied to Mathematics in this case.”

The first module of ten that will be featured in the courseware will be available on the OpenEdx platform in March 2020.

Jack Little, president and cofounder of MathWorks, stated, “Evolving the way STEM subjects are taught and learned is critical to inspiring the future generation of mathematicians, engineers and scientists. MathWorks is pleased to support CCR’s courseware initiative.”

Charles Fadel, founder of CCR, added, “It is very rewarding when open-minded thought leaders recognize and embrace the need for moving Mathematics forward. This courseware reflects the needs of this century’s leading-edge mathematics professions such as Data Scientists, Algorithmics, etc. coupled with a far deeper understanding of fundamental math topics such as proportionality and number sense.  This comprehensive design will appeal to a significantly larger number of users, who are unfortunately too often turned off by the partial irrelevance of many mathematics subjects and the poor pedagogical practices associated with them.  We are very grateful to MathWorks for its clarity of vision and kind generosity, as this work will significantly extend and support the prior grant from Mr. Ray Stata.”

MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of engineers and scientists, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a block diagram environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain and embedded engineering systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MATLAB and Simulink are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 4500 people in 16 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit

CCR is a non-profit global organization dedicated to improving education and openly propagating its recommendations and frameworks on a worldwide basis, via answering this question: “What should students learn for the 21st century?” CCR’s focus on relevance in education brings together international organizations, jurisdictions, academic institutions, corporations, and non-profit organizations including foundations. For more information, please Contact Us.

@CurrRedesign @MathWorks @SchleicherOECD 4DEdu #21stcenturyskills #AIED #OECDPISA

Microsoft selects CCR’s “4D” Framework Rev 1.0 for Skills, Character and Meta-Learning

October 16th, 2019 – The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is pleased to announce that Microsoft Education Research will be using its CCR Framework Rev 1.0 to help different international education systems establish a shared competencies standard equivalency.

This CCR 4D framework is the first of its kind to describe a deeply researched, explicit, and consistent structure for an education of Skills, Character, and Meta-Learning (aka “21st century skills” or social-emotional learning (SEL)).  The framework expresses these dimensions through 12 parameters, their 60 sub-competencies, and a lexicon of 200+ associated and related constructs.

The intent of the 4D framework is to provide jurisdictions, organizations, municipalities and schools with a blueprint for a curriculum that transforms 21st century competencies into daily practice, helping teachers and students in developing relevant skills, character, and meta-learning qualities, all to be expressed through Knowledge disciplines. These competencies are much needed to update K-12 curricula around the world to make 21st century education a lot more relevant. The framework is propagating rapidly to a growing number of organizations globally, notably among them the Mastery Transcript Consortium™ and Atlas as previously announced.

Charles Fadel, founder of the CCR, and co-author of 21st Century Skills, Four-Dimensional Education, and Artificial Intelligence in Education, adds, “It is very validating to CCR that a corporation of the stature of Microsoft selected its framework over numerous other possibilities. The Framework was created at a cumulative investment of approximately $6M over the past six years.  We are releasing the tip of the iceberg at this stage, and will soon announce several other high-profile partners.  The framework was painstakingly developed as an elaborate synthesis of 75+ other frameworks worldwide, with clear design goals of actionability: comprehensiveness, compacity, orthogonality, abstraction, and global relevance. This will allow learners to thrive in an innovation-driven yet problem-challenged world, one that is shifting to learning-based societies where fulfilled citizens will not only generate knowledge but also know how to apply it, how to behave and engage in the world, and how to reflect, adapt, and “learn how to learn.” 

Dr. Maria Langworthy, Worldwide Director, Education Research at Microsoft, stated, “CCR’s framework stood out to us because it maps the curriculum frameworks from many different countries and jurisdictions to a common framework that includes advanced competencies in a consistent way. This is important for developing internationally valid work standards that could enable ‘interoperable’ learner profile data. When those learner profiles are expanded to include a broader range of advanced competencies, it will be necessary for them to be represented consistently in education systems’ data platforms.”

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

CCR is a non-profit global organization dedicated to improving education and openly propagating its recommendations and frameworks on a worldwide basis, via answering this question: “What should students learn for the 21st century?” CCR’s focus on relevance in education brings together international organizations, jurisdictions, academic institutions, corporations, and non-profit organizations including foundations. For more information, please Contact Us.

@CurrRedesign #4DEdu #21stCenturySkills #AIED @MSFTNews @microsoft