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This course introduces students to critiques of education in the early years and beyond. It uses postmodern theories to analyse research, practices and contexts in a range of educational contexts.
Many of us have spent our lives avoiding theory. But did you know that the best work with children has come from theory, is informed by theory, and creates new theory? If we are to continue to improve early years education for young children, those of us working and studying in this area need to be able to understand and build on current theories.“I have really enjoyed this course. My thinking has stretched in more ways than I ever expected it to. Rather then consuming known truth and dominant discourses, I have begun thinking critically about the reasons behind why I am thinking what I am thinking, and then challenging myself to think in new directions. I am finishing this course feeling excited by the fact that thinking with theory has improved my pedagogy” (Student, 2017).“Thanks for the challenging discussions and concepts in the course. It was great to have something I'm actually going to use once the course is finished” (Student, 2017).“This course has been really life changing and has completely turned my ways of approaching a variety of situations on its head” (Student, 2017).“In reflecting about things that have changed in my practice because of this paper - well, I have to say the impact has been like a thread through everything I do” (Student, 2017).
1. Identify key issues in early years education in New Zealand and internationally; 2. Position practices, policies and politics in the early years within a theoretical debate;3. Apply critical thinking to early years education;4. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of key early years theorists and theoretical frameworks;5. Critique evidence-based research;6. Present well researched information in a convincingly and appropriately argued manner;7. Plan future research or policy developments in the early years.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Subject to approval of the Head of School
Lia de Vocht van Alphen
Jackson, A. Y., & Mazzei, L. A;
Thinking with theory in qualitative research;
Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2012.
Domestic fee $1,811.00
International Postgraduate fees
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
School of Educational Studies and Leadership.