Cover for the book "Education for the Age of AI," by Charles Fadel, Alexis Black, Robbie Taylor, Janet Slezinski, and Katie Dunn of the Center for Curriculum Redesign. The cover shows a 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.


Download the Appendix

Download a free PDF of the Appendix for Education for the Age of AI, which includes the Evolutionary Origin of Competencies; theories of wisdom, motivation, identity, agency, and purpose; and much more.



“…stunning and fantastic journey… fabulous book.”– Dr. Michael Fullan, OC, Prof. Emeritus, OISE, University of Toronto.

“…unique contribution…exceptionally deep and exceptionally broad… a must-read.” – Dr. Chris Dede, Professor Emeritus and senior research fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“I truly enjoyed reading it” – Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, OECD

“Educators, students, parents, and policymakers need to see what has to change in education” – Dr. Francesc Pedró, Director, IESALC UNESCO

“I LOVE THIS BOOK!” – Peggy Brookins, President & CEO National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

What is Education for the Age of AI about?


After the hiatus of Covid, AI and other disruptors hit humanity and make yet more cases for change in education’s What and How. The lack of urgency among educators is deeply concerning, as is the lack of preparation of schools as centers of stability.

Chapter One: Modern AI and its Unhyped Capabilities

AI is already quite potent and getting a lot better fast, as “Artificial Capable Intelligence.” However, the fears about Artificial General Intelligence, or worse, Superintelligence, are premature, given the need for substantial breakthroughs that are not forecastable. It behooves everyone to focus on the Capable phase at hand.

Chapter Two: AI’s Impact on Occupations

AI will NOT replace most jobs any time soon. There is a significant misunderstanding of the difference between AI passing a test vs doing a task vs fulfilling a job. Also, one must contend with the historical inability to predict new emerging jobs (e.g., Instagram Influencer?!). One thing is sure, those with AI will beat those without, as for many technologies AI is a mind’s “exoskeleton.” This also implies that high school education’s focus on the transition to jobs is here to stay.

Chapter Three: Wisdom as the Enduring Goal of Education

As described in the Foreword and Chapter Two, education remains about BOTH psychosocial and economic needs, not one or the other. However, the psychosocial side of education is rarely explicit about its overall aim – wisdom – and achieved in a practical way. Wisdom is not an ethereal concept as many might think, it is quite actionable when one involves its components of Knowledge, Skills, Character, and Meta-Learning.

Chapter Four: AI’s High-Level Impact on Education

AI’s impact can be summarized as a need for versatility. In an uncertain world, the best hedge is the ability to develop across four Dimensions: Knowledge, Skills, Character, Meta-Learning, as well as four “Drivers”: Motivation, Identity, Agency, and Purpose. Students need scaffolding to their learning no matter whether for psychosocial or economic needs. Schooling is NOT obsolete, but it has to be adapted comprehensively.

Chapter Five: Knowledge for an Age of AI

If AI “knows everything, why learn anything?” is a dead-wrong question, as it was for the age of search engines on the internet. AI neither “knows” everything nor is it capable of acting on its own. Yet it is clear that Knowledge should be assessed for relevance: developing the right mix between Declarative (Essential Content), Procedural (Project-Based), Conceptual (Core Concepts), and Epistemic (Meta-layer) Knowledge and modernizing traditional disciplines accordingly. We also need to make time and space for important modern disciplines such as Technology and Engineering, Social Sciences, and Entrepreneurship, while embedding interdisciplinarity and cross-cutting themes.

Chapter Six: Competencies for an Age of AI

AI’s complementarity vs substitution to Skills, Character, and Meta-Learning is analyzed, and confirms the CCR framework and its Rev 1.2. Modern emphasis on specific attributes (imagination, resourcefulness, and so forth) is described and justified in light of AI’s present and future capabilities. The major drawback is the tendency to drift into over-reliance.

Chapter Seven: Student Personalization

The need for personalization increases both because AI’s capabilities increase the pressure on student Motivation (extrinsic and intrinsic) and to avoid over-reliance on AI. This implies keen attention to the development of Drivers: Identity (& Belonging), Agency (& Growth mindset), and Purpose (& Passion). AI will still need human oversight and decisions on its agency and purpose for quite some time to come.

Chapter Eight: The How

This chapter works through an example of curriculum design, demonstrating how all the parameters of the framework can be designed together harmoniously. Teachers will be provided significant help in creating lesson plans and student assessments, thanks to a suite of diverse AI tools. Finally, the student-centric level of adaptive learning moves gradually into Intelligent Tutoring Systems.


The Appendix contains a significant number of finer-grain details for the interested specialist and will answer many readers’ questions.

Praise for Education for the Age of AI

Education in the Age of AI is a stunning and fantastic journey into our new world of dynamic complexity and nuances in education, rendered crystal clear in chapters that could only have been written by humans. It represents an educational journey of shock and ultimate awe that stuns the reader into a state of excitement and anxiety about what may lie before us. It leaves us with a clear invitation that individual and collective agency are essential for our next phase of existence. Where to start? That is the reader’s responsibility. But start you must with this fabulous book.”

Dr. Michael Fullan, OC, Prof. Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto

“This book is a unique contribution to the divergent discussion about educational AI, being both exceptionally deep and exceptionally broad. Its ideas are wide-ranging and span history, the future, formal education, and life-wide learning. The analysis of AI’s likely uses and evolution is deep and based on the substantial expertise of its authors. This is a must-read for anyone who wants a balanced perspective on this important topic.”

Dr. Chris Dede, Professor Emeritus and senior research fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“I truly enjoyed reading Education for the Age of AI; it brings us back to the origins of education. For the last centuries, education got side-tracked to mass-producing routine knowledge and skills that were high in demand in an economy that could not yet draw on advanced technology. The advent of AI now enables and pushes us to refocus education on the core of the human experience: The passion and motivation that drive us to act, shaped by our identities and our sense of belonging, which in turn inform agency. The purpose that gives direction to our agency to make a positive difference in this world. The value of this book lies in setting those concepts out systematically in relation to the emerging capabilities of AI and in assessing their implications for learning and teaching.”

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, OECD

“The world realizes that one more source of uncertainty has been added to an already difficult context for education – AI. Educators, students, parents, and policymakers need to see what in education has to change dramatically and what else needs to remain untouched to cope with such an evolving landscape. This book provides clues on how to make change happen while keeping the essence of the humanistic
values that should always inspire education worldwide.”

Dr. Francesc Pedró, Director, IESALC UNESCO

“I LOVE THIS BOOK! Education the Age of AI was gifted to us at the right moment to understand the current challenges, misconceptions, and promise of AI. What sets this book apart is its forward-looking perspective. Rather than succumbing to fear or resistance to technological advancements, the authors advocate for a balanced approach that utilizes the power of AI to augment, rather than replace, human educators. By sparking crucial conversations about all the implications, the book encourages a taking the initiative approach in leveraging AI while ensuring it serves the best interests of students. It is an indispensable guide for educators and anyone passionate about preparing the next generation for the challenges and opportunities of the AI era.”

Peggy Brookins, President & CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

“Both primer and provocation, Education for the Age of AI is a must-read for educators, policymakers, and anyone interested in the human prospect in the AI era. Combining an engineering mindset with deeply humanistic values, Charles Fadel and colleagues take a deep dive into the nature of AI and its potential to amplify human creativity. Building on earlier work, they articulate the competencies needed for an age of AI, as well as the implications for education. And therein lies the provocation: If schools are to remain islands of social cohesion in this time of transition, they must re-imagine education, moving toward a personalized, experiential approach in addition to traditional school “subjects.” Full of wisdom about the why, what, and how of teaching and learning, this is, in the end analysis, a hopeful book, comprehensive in its assessment of AI and grounded in the societal need to prepare the young for the future that is emerging NOW.”

Rob Riordan, President Emeritus, High Tech High Graduate School of Education

Education for the Age of AI is the most comprehensive consideration of learning in the age of AI. It explains why entrepreneurship is the job of the future and why metacognition, ethics, courage, and resilience are the most human capabilities. CCR has extended their leadership in outcomes research and illuminated the path forward in education.”

Tom Vander Ark, Founder, Getting Smart and former executive director of the Education Initiative, Gates Foundation

“ChatGPT and other Large Language Models are changing the economy in ways that often seem incomprehensible. Education for the Age of AI demystifies these changes and explains how education must adjust to prepare students for what lies ahead.”

Dr. Frank Levy, (Economics) Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT)

Education for the Age of AI offers the most detailed analysis yet of how curriculum frameworks should be updated in light of the technology that surprised us all. Timely and trenchant, it makes a compelling case for rethinking the competencies that are at the heart of our education programs. As usual for CCR, the work is meticulous and thorough, and after several high-level chapters at the beginning to see trend analyses and big pictures, it provides the detailed analysis and interpretation in the later chapters that will be most helpful to high quality program designers. How do we think about teaching character when AI can complement our human actions? This book is where you will find out.”

Peter Nilsson, former head of school, King’s Academy, Jordan

“For those of us who are familiar with CCR‘s 2015 & 2018 highly influential publications, this new volume – Education for the Age of AI – takes us to the next crucial level. It provides the urgently required precision to deeply modify schooling’s response to why, what, and how students should learn for the Age of AI. It is completely compelling.”

Anthony Mackay, Co-Chair Board of Directors, National Center on Education and the Economy

“In this era dominated by AI advancements, educators, policymakers, and the public find themselves in a perplexing moment, contemplating the future of education. The crucial question emerges: How ought our school systems navigate these transformative times? Education for the Age of AI masterfully distills the opportunities and challenges inherent in this AI-driven epoch, emphasizing the peril of complacency. This collection of insightful essays and a comprehensive overview serves as the ideal launchpad for a discourse enriched with facts, predictions, and, hopefully, wisdom.

Keith Krueger, CAE, CEO, Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

“This timely book addresses the importance of reviewing the curriculum and redesigning disciplines in the age of Artificial Intelligence. It also highlights the even more important role of teachers in this context. Debates on the inter-relationship between pedagogy and technology have fed education policy development for many years: but what certainly matters nowadays is to identify those areas where educational technologies can really make a tangible difference in teaching and learning processes.”

Marc Durando, Executive Director, European Schoolnet

“The authors cut through the hype surrounding artificial intelligence to consider how education might support learners in developing versatility and wisdom to navigate the rapidly changing world and how schools might help meet young people’s timeless needs and provide emotional grounding even as we redesign them to serve multiple, concurrent purposes in new technological contexts. Their thoughtful discussion will help educators, workforce developers, and others interested in what, how, and why people learn take stock of the current moment and consider how to overhaul education to help young people develop identity, agency, and purpose while providing much-needed stability.”

Katherine Prince, Vice President, Strategic Foresight,

“In an era where discussions about artificial intelligence in education oscillate between unfounded fears and unrealistic expectations, Education for the Age of AI emerges as a timely and necessary intervention. The book cuts through the noise of “AI extremism” – according to which AI is either to be banned or will make educators obsolete – to chart a welcome, sobering, and practical middle path for integrating AI into education that is grounded in a realistic assessment of AI’s current capabilities and limitations, and in the great promise that it holds for enriching education. By doing so, and by grounding its proposals in enduring educational values and principles, Education for the Age of AI has direct and immediate benefits to educators and long-lasting value, even in the face of rapid advancements in AI.”

Robert Plotkin, Author of “The Genie in the Machine”

“CCR is an important voice in the education conversation, bridging the gap between the policy discussions on the purpose of schooling and the practicalities of curriculum design. This book updates their thinking in light of AI, and sets out a practical road map to a school design that offers both stability for learners and a more complete education for the modern age.”

Jim Knight, Rt Hon. Lord Knight of Weymouth

“The Center for Curriculum Redesign has produced an important and timely book. It highlights significant social and technological changes that impact a modern education, and calls for a shift from teaching as “knowledge transmission” to developing students who can transfer their learning to new situations. I highly recommend Education in the Age of AI to educators in all roles and to policymakers at every level.”

Jay McTighe, Educational Author/Consultant, expert on Transfer

“Many institutions and policymakers are meandering between fear, euphoria, and delusion when it comes to responding to the breakthroughs in AI. All for very good reasons! The latest changes in AI have sent shock waves through most education institutions. But is this just another crying wolf? Anybody who believes that “Yes – we have heard this before” will face a harsh reality very soon. Learning architecture for almost all educations and jobs – as well as the learning engineering needed to deliver built it – will change radically in the immediate future. That is why Charles and colleagues’ extensive revision and expansion of the Four-Dimensional Learning Framework is very timely – and will be a valuable tool for all educational architects and policy makers (particularly when designing the mastery-based learning environments, imperative for lifelong learning, individual growth and well-being, personal fulfillment, and organizational effectiveness).”

Ulrik Juul Christensen, Founder and CEO, Area9 Lyceum

Table of Contents




Executive Summary

Chapter One: Modern AI and its Unhyped Capabilities

  • Four levels of AI
  • LLM limitations
  • Consequences

Chapter Two: AI’s Impact on Occupations

  • Implications for jobs
  • The sober view

Chapter Three: Wisdom – Enduring Goal of Education

  • Why Wisdom?
  • CCR’s synthesis research on Wisdom
  • Justification for Education
  • CCR’s framework and Wisdom
  • The role of technology

Chapter Four: Impact on Education – High-Level

  • Terminology, precision, and context
  • If AI can do everything, why learn anything?
  • How do we adapt education to remain relevant?
  • Consequences: Wider and Wiser curricula

Chapter Five: Knowledge for the Age of AI

  • CCR’s synthesis research on Knowledge
  • AI’s impact: Redesigning Disciplines
  • Interdisciplinarity, and Cross-Cutting Themes

Chapter Six: Competencies for the Age of AI

  • Complementarity AND substitution of Competencies
  • Modern emphasis, given AI
  • Emergence of different human capabilities

Chapter Seven: The Need for Personalization

  • Do students always know best?
  • Motivation (extrinsic & intrinsic)
  • Identity (& Belonging)
  • Agency (& Growth mindset)
  • Purpose (& Passion)
  • Subcompetencies supporting Motivation, Identity, Agency, and Purpose

Chapter Eight: The How

  • Redesigning curricula and courseware
  • Consequences for the role of teachers
  • From adaptive learning to Intelligent Tutoring Systems



Final Words


Appendix Online

In order to avoid bulk, cost to the reader, and deep dives into specialist domains, CCR has created a free downloadable pdf of the Appendix containing:

  • All references with active links
  • The Evolutionary Origin of Competencies
  • Wisdom – Theories
  • Motivation – Theories
  • Identity – Theories
  • Agency – Theories
  • Purpose – Theories
  • The Ikigai Model
  • Ten Principles of Passion Learning
  • CCR’s Process for Redesign of Standards

Other Languages

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Education for the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Published January 2024
215 pages

Copyright © Center for Curriculum Redesign
All rights reserved.
ISBN-13: 979-8871151150

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