The information and ideas on this website will be continually updated and revised.
Please come back regularly to see the changes, additions, and modifications and to view additional items.
Welcome to this Era 3 Learning website.
The premise of this website is that we need a new mission and a new set of practices for educating our children in this 21st century, "Era 3" world! This page of the website provides a brief overview and description of a new Era 3 world and some of the key ideas for educating children in this new era.
What is an Era 3 world?
There are three major eras of United States (and global) history...
•Era 1 consisted primarily of an agricultural world;
•Era 2 consisted of a predominantly industrial order;
•Era 3 is the current, third major era, with an explosion of and unprecedented access to information and knowledge, a socially and globally networked world, search engines and computer technology, robots and automation, millions more in the global job market, interdependent economies, multiple values and opinions, complex citizenship issues, a shift from brawn based careers to mind based careers, a complex job market, and an often confusing, uncertain and rapidly changing world.
A one page overview of Eras 1-3 and the Era 3 implications for educating in the 21st century can be downloaded here.
What is the mission of education in an Era 3 world?
How can we make certain that our graduating high school students are ready for an Era 3 world? We believe that the primary mission of education in an Era 3 world is to prepare students for college, career, citizenship and "life" through three major outcomes:
•preparation for continuous, lifelong, self-directed learning;
•preparation for intelligent, informed citizenship;
•self-development and self-understanding.
How do we accomplish this new mission?
Success in meeting and measuring these outcomes will not occur through the current approaches to education, such as the use of standardized test scores and traditional tests to measure success, an early childhood emphasis on teaching discrete reading, language arts and math skills, cutbacks to enrichment programs and the arts, and fragmented, “coverage”, textbook based instruction in the upper grades.
Reaching and assessing these three critical outcomes will happen with a "learning-centered" approach with the following emphases:
•A mission statement focused around meaningful, clear "era 3" student outcomes that is accepted and adopted by the school community;
•Building core, complex, rich networks of background knowledge, concepts and understandings in all subject areas;
•A focus on five relevant Era 3 skill sets: curiosity development, information literacy, thoughtfulness, application and communication;
•Success-oriented, motivating school cultures and learning environments;
•Portfolios of student work, focused around era 3 learning outcomes, that include multiple types of assessments such as background knowledge and conceptual understandings tests, essays, research papers, poems and other writings, extended performance tasks and project results, and self-reflections;
•Engaging instruction strategies and formative assessments that emphasize background knowledge, deeper understanding, five skills development, inquiry, problem and project-based learning, and constructive feedback;
•Diverse student options and choices that promote the building of individual student strengths and abilities, self-development and customize learning, such as with open-ended classroom activities, many elective courses and other elective options, enrichment programs and experiences, internships, support systems for those who need it, and theme-based program option.
•Authentic student connections to the outside world, through field trips, authentic tasks, community service, expert interviews, student surveys, internships, and community-school connections;
•On-going staff and curriculum development experiences that support the implementation of programs and practices designed to promote an Era 3 education.
Download here a more detailed four page overview of the qualities of an Era 3 world, an Era 3 education mission statement, the five relevant Era 3 skill sets, and a set of Era 3 educational characteristics that help to implement the mission.
•Download here a set of ten key questions, focused around Era 3 educational characteristics, that will help to determine how well a classroom, school or district is doing in developing and implementing an Era 3 mission and outcomes.
For further insights into an Era 3 education…
•The About Era 3 Learning page has a more in-depth description of the five relevant Era 3 skill sets, along with their implications for educational practice. The page also describes how American schools can be analyzed to determine how well they meet Era 3 characteristics, along with examples and models of specific Era 3 schools-programs.
•The resources page provides additional articles, readings, booklists, and other resources for understanding and implementing an Era 3 education.
•The weblinks page provides links to other websites that support Era 3 learning goals.
•Browse the blog page for blog commentarites and links to excellent education blog websites and commentaries.
•Go to the contact page to send us your questions, suggestions, or comments about this website.