Professional Development for Competencies

Making your 4C’s, SEL, and Portrait of a Graduate a Classroom Reality

More than forty states and thousands of schools require the teaching of Competencies, often known as “21st Century Skills,” the “4C’s,” “Social-Emotional Learning (SEL),” and “Portrait of a Graduate.”

But these competencies are not deliberately, systematically, comprehensively, and demonstrably embedded into classroom instruction. Most often, professional development is not offered, or is of insufficient quality. Generally, competencies are thought of as an overlay on top of normal instruction, rather than embedded within it. This is burdensome for teachers who have to cover content/subjects first and foremost.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) only complicates the task for teachers. Are the Competencies helped or hindered by AI? If so, which ones and how? And in a world with fast-advancing technologies, how can we help students develop the skills and character they’ll need over their lifetimes? 

Sitting at the intersection of the education and technology worlds, the Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) is uniquely positioned to address these issues. With its “Education Engineering” mindset, CCR’s team includes experts from both fields, allowing the organization to translate the complex, ever-shifting world of AI into concrete, research-backed tips for educators and schools. 

Professional Development (PD)

CCR has designed a training series of eight 90-minute video conferencing sessions, with asynchronous support between sessions, to help teachers learn how to:

  • Infuse the competencies within existing content instruction
  • Improve at the competencies themselves, modeling behaviors that will resonate with students.

CCR’s PD works with teachers to understand how they can teach competencies alongside essential content and recognize student growth. During the sessions, teachers will modify and design units and lessons that they can use in their classrooms infused with these key competencies, with feedback by CCR’s experts and other participating teachers.

All CCR Teacher Training Courses 

  • are flexible to meet the specific needs of your school 
  • are based on research best practices. The curriculum and approach: 
    • are content focused 
    • incorporate active learning 
    • support collaboration 
    • use models of effective practice 
    • provide coaching and expert support 
    • offer feedback and reflection
    • are of sustained duration 
  • Include a combination of instructor-led sessions (synchronous) and independent/group work (asynchronous)
  • Are led by CCR’s expert instructors who are all experienced educators 

CCR’s Four-Dimensional (4D) Framework

CCR's Framework Venn diagram of Knowledge, Skills, and Character overlapping, with Meta-Learning surrounding all three and the learner in the center. The knowledge circle is further defined with modernized disciplines, interdisciplinarity, & themes. Skill's competencies of creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration are listed in its circle. Character's competencies of curiosity, courage, resilience, and ethics are listed in its circle. Meta-learning's competencies of metacognition and metaemotion are listed in its circle. An arrow with purpose, agency, and identity moving through motivation points to the right.

This PD covers all ten competencies from the CCR Framework. 

  • Skills (creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration) 
  • Character (curiosity, courage, resilience, ethics) 
  • Meta-Learning (metacognition, metaemotion) 

These ten competencies are further detailed with fifty subcompetencies, which give teachers and students the language to clearly articulate what they’re trying to achieve and provide insight into identifying growth. 

Adapting to an age of AI, CCR also focuses on human differentiators called “Emphases.” For instance, in creativity, the accent is on imagination and in collaboration, it is on leadership.

Furthermore, CCR’s framework includes students’ drivers for an age of AI:

  • Motivation
  • Identity (& Belonging)
  • Agency (& Growth Mindset)
  • Purpose (& Passion)

Teachers will learn how to embed these drivers as part of their normal instruction.


Q: But what if my school’s/state’s requirements are slightly different in wording from your competencies?

A: The first thing we’ll do in the PD session is cross-walk your school’s or state’s framework, so all elements you need are covered.

Q: But what if my school/state follows the CASEL framework?

A: CCR has fully cross-walked our framework to the CASEL framework. You’ll notice it is missing Creativity, which CCR also covers.

Q. My teachers span many grades and subject areas; how will this apply specifically to each of them?

A. The training sessions will focus on both the general application of the competencies for all teachers and specific insight into how individual competencies best align to specific subjects. Each teacher will identify competencies that align exactly with their courses’ needs.

For more information, please contact us.