Shaping Professional Hats

Posthumanist Affirmative Critique of Early Childhood Curriculum and Professionalism in Aotearoa New Zealand



posthumanism, curriculum, affirmative critique, diffraction, early childhood education, teaching


This article argues that posthumanist thinking can frame early childhood curriculum and professionalism to productively attend to complex ways they constitute each other. Posthumanist perspectives on early childhood curriculum and professionalism encompass multiple human and non-human components co-/re-/constituting children and teachers, teaching and learning practices and processes, policies and procedures, values and beliefs, and materials and resources of early childhood settings. In Aotearoa New Zealand, the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki is envisaged as a woven mat; each early childhood setting weaves its own local curriculum from a set of principles and strands of learning. This article describes how a diffractive methodology employing four theoretical approaches can weave a complex and messy cartographic story of data from a research study into emotions in early childhood teaching. Early childhood teacher participants in focus group discussions used the imaginary ‘professional hat’ to describe how their expressions of emotions with children were constrained and enabled. This article affirmatively combines critique with creativity to explore early childhood professionalism within a specific localised enactment of curriculum in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Author Biography

Alison Warren, Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand

Senior Lecturer

PhD topic: Posthumanist perspectives on emotions in early childhood teaching

Research interests: early chilhdood teaching, posthumanist theories, Deleuze and Guattari, new materialist theories.