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Abstract

Do our current ways of teaching our young children actually foster the development of effective skills and dispositions for twenty-first century living? A number of authors, (Pink, 2005; Golinkoff & Sharp 2009), have commented that solutions to the issues associated with the rapid development of knowledge in the twenty-first century, issues and problems involved in environmental sustainability and issues of national security, will require answers from individuals who have the ability to communicate, collaborate, think critically, be creative and innovative, confidently approach challenges and have content knowledge (Golinkoff & Sharp, 2009, p. 6). They identify these skills as being the ones that our 3 to 6-year-olds will need to acquire during their education, in order to be successful in their adult lives. Children of the twenty-first century need to go beyond the basic skills, they need to develop skills and dispositions that will enable them to become learners throughout their entire life (Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff, Berk & Singer, 2009, p. 15). As teachers of 3 to 6-year-olds we need to ask ourselves, “What pedagogical approaches should I employ that will enable the children in my classroom to acquire the knowledge and skills for success in the twenty-first century?” To answer this question this article explores current thinking and research.

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