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.

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