Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education

By Nicola Yelland | Go to book overview

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Against the tide:
New ways in early
childhood education

Nicola Yelland and Anna Kilderry

At the dawn of the new century it was inevitable to reflect on the state of the world and our lives in them. One of the most obvious manifestations of the change from one century to the next was the apprehension that surrounded the actual event. We were prepared for the ultimate disaster when it was predicted that our daily activities that relied so much on computer networks, would fail, public transport systems would be thrown into chaos and capitalism and commerce would disintegrate as records were lost and business halted. All because at another dawn, that is when computers were created, the systems were made with only two spaces for recording or acknowledging the date and somehow computers might be confused about whether it was 1800 or 1900 instead of 2000. In retrospect, we know that none of this did in fact happen but there was money to be made from promoting Y2K bug salvations. These events and many others epitomized the changes that had occurred in the western world over the course of the century, and in particular, those which have escalated during the past 20 years. Events of the past two decades have served to illustrate how different our lives have become and additionally this reminds us that the world that our children are growing up in is changing at an even faster rate. Such rapid growth was illustrated in Moore's Law (Intel Research, 2004) that the capacity and capabilities of silicon integrated circuits double approximately every two years and mirror the ways in which the content and structure of our lives are constantly multiplying at a tremendous speed.

In such new contexts, issues around globalization have highlighted the need to extend boundaries of existence, together with a recognition of diversity across contexts, cultures, identities, commerce and production. The role of new technologies in everyday activities has reshaped our lifeworlds, so that some jobs have been obliterated and many new styles of living have been created. While we have had to adapt to the changing times, new generations have been inducted into new systems as citizens, workers and consumers. As societies have been characterized by these massive changes and the world at

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