School curriculum is a relic designed for a different century; CMRubinWorld’s new interview with thought leader Charles Fadel covers what educators must do to fix it

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School curriculum is a relic designed for a different century; CMRubinWorld’s new interview with thought leader Charles Fadel covers what educators must do to fix it.

The demands of globalization and its impact on economic competitiveness implore us to reflect on our current institutions and innovate what our children learn. What change to the content of our curriculum is needed to meet 21st century challenges?

CMRubinWorld founder, C.M. Rubin, interviews author and curriculum innovator, Charles Fadel, who says, “We are seeing dramatic transformations globally such as international mobility; shifts in family structures; increasing diversity in populations…” Fadel argues that “contemporary education is failing our students because we are stuck in a curriculum designed for a different century, i.e. a curriculum that focuses heavily on quantity of testable knowledge. Yet if designed well, curriculum can help lead to more peaceful, sustainable societies, with more economic progress and fairness, composed of people who are fulfilled and happier.”

CMRubinWorld’s The Global Search for Education platform recently brought back its popular 2012 Education Debate series. Founder C.M. Rubin put tough questions to those at the forefront of educational change in the United States, such as: Does our curriculum equip students with the kind of skills and character qualities that will ready them for the jobs of the future? Fadel is the final interviewee in the series that featured globally recognized thought leaders Andy Hargreaves, Diane Ravitch, Randi Weingarten, Julia Freeland Fisher, and Howard Gardner. All 6 contributors were asked to imagine they were Secretary of Education for the new administration.

Without major changes to our curriculum model, Fadel warns, “We will be unable to adapt curricula to reflect modern needs. The consequences will be more unemployment, social unrest, and continued inability to face our significant planetary challenges.”

Charles Fadel is a global education thought leader and expert, futurist and inventor; founder and chairman of the Center for Curriculum Redesign; visiting scholar at Harvard Graduate School of Education; chair of the education committee at BIAC/OECD; co-author of best-selling book, 21st Century Skills; founder and president of the Foundation Helvetica Education; senior fellow, human capital, at The Conference Board; and senior fellow at He has worked with education systems and institutions in more than thirty countries. He was formerly Global Education Lead at Cisco Systems, and holds a BSEE, an MBA, and five patents.

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CMRubinWorld launched in 2010 to explore what kind of education would prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing globalized world. Its award winning series, The Global Search for Education, is a celebrated trailblazer in the renaissance of the 21st century, and occupies a special place in the pulse of key issues facing every nation and the collective future of all children. It connects today’s top thought leaders with a diverse global audience of parents, students and educators. Its highly readable platform allows for discourse concerning our highest ideals and the sustainable solutions we must engineer to achieve them. C. M. Rubin has produced over 500 interviews and articles discussing an expansive array of topics under a singular vision: when it comes to the world of children, there is always more work to be done.

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