Pedagogies of Possibility (PoP)

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"Education is not just talking about what we already know; it initiates a social event of creative co-thinking, where what is unknown is revealed to us only in the presence of others" (Epstein, 2012,. p.292)

We are: 

  • a vibrant research community seeking to re-imagine, transform and expand our understanding of pedagogical possibilities
  • a cross-disciplinary group with a desire to explore potential questions of education concerning  'what if' and 'what could be' rather than merely 'what is'

We offer a public lecture series for our university and practitioner partners across our UC communities. We are building a doctoral cohort of students who share in the vision for the future of pedagogies and creative practice.

PoP's core is made up of Education scholars across Te Kaupeka Ako, working in partnership with others inside and outside of the University.

PoP Directors:

E. Jayne White

Misty Sato

Jane Abbiss


Associate Professor Cheryl Brown

Associate Professor Kathryn McCallum

Associate Professor Sara Tolbert

Dr Nicola Surtees

Dr Sandra Williamson-Leadley

Dr Matiu Ratima

Dr Chris North

Dr Rachael Dixon

Dr Kaitlyn Martin

Dr Shweta Sharma

Dr Andrea Delaune

Anna Niles

Benita Rarere-Briggs

Pāngarau Unleashed: secondary mathematics without streaming

Wednesday 31 August 2022, 4pm - 6pm
Te Moana nui a Kiwa, Room 226 Rehua, University of Canterbury

Join us for this public lecture and conversation about mixed ‘ability’ mathematics and possibilities for de-streaming of mathematics classes to address achievement inequities and help ākonga develop confidence with mathematics. Kay-Lee Jones, David Pomeroy and Sara Tolbert share their research on effective transitions to non-streamed mathematics.

Possibilities for ECE Practice across the Globe

An evening to celebrate the research and work by a group of scholars across Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Scotland and USA. Presentations will be made, followed by the launch of their book. This event was held Thursday 29 September 2022, 5.30pm - 8pm University of Canterbury (in person) and online.

Watch the online recording of the event now.

For how the children grow … So will be the shape of Aotearoa

Thursday 24 November 2022, 4pm - 6pm
Te Moana nui a Kiwa, Room 226 Rehua, University of Canterbury

Now, in 2022, due to the growing reality of climate change, we are now asking ourselves what sort of world will we leave for our children, and how do we prepare our teachers and children for the uncertainties ahead. Dame Whina Cooper (Māori leader 1895-1994) continues to challenge us all through her powerful words when she said: Take care of our children, Take care of what they hear, Take care of what they feel, For how the children grow, So will be the shape of Aotearoa.

The timing is critical for us to think more deeply about how we, as kaiako, understand the key messages in these words of Whina Cooper. How does our teaching demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and social justice through our everyday curriculum experiences and responses? For those of us in education, what do we see as the ‘shape of Aotearoa’ and what does this mean for our youngest citizens? This presentation by Glynne Mackey will focus on how kaiako can apply self-review criteria of sustainability and social justice to challenge our practices, refresh our ideas and honour the rights of every child.

Watch this space.

PoP, in collaboration with Te Ru Rangahau and AVP, are convening an international conference in 2023: Decolonising Visualities: Visibilising Pedagogies


Te Rū Rangahau: The Māori Research Laboratory

Child Well-being Research Institute


Research for Children in Aotearoa

Association for Visual Pedagogies, with whom we are co-hosting a conference in 2023 – watch this space!

OMEP: An international child advocacy group (with affiliations to UNESCO)

International Study of Social Emotional Early Transitions (ISSEET): An international study led by Professor White with colleagues from University of Strathclyde, Edinburgh University (Scotland), University of Sao Paolo (Brazil), University of Arkansas (US) and Jyvaskyla University (Finland). New Zealand arm (funded by Cognition Education Trust See also


Immersive Virtual Baby Project: A collaboration between PoP and HitLab to develop and test a prototype infant for teaching (and sensing) relational pedagogies. Led by Professor White, with Heide Lukosch and Cara Switt. (Prototype testing funding by Well-Being Institute at UC).


OMEP Water Project: A collaboration between PoP and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences to pilot an international OMEP investigation of four year-old children’s perspectives on water as a resource in their lives. New Zealand arm team: Jayne White, Ngaroma Williams, Kaitlyn Martin, Glynne Mackey and colleagues from AUT Andrew Gibbons and Andrew Denton, working with local ECE centres located near waterways.

  • White, E.J. (2022). Utterance chains: A dialogic route to speculative thinking in the Cthulocene, Global Studies of Childhood.
  • White, E.J., Amorim, K, Rutanen, N.,& Herold, L. (2022), First transitions to Early Childhood Education and Care, Springer.
  • Gunn, A. White, E.J. & Williams, N. (2022). The status of the image in ECE Assessment, Journal of Teachers' Work. DOI: 10.24135/teacherswork.v19i1.341 Sato, M., & Knaus, J. (2022). Case methods in teacher education. In R. Tierney, Fazal Rizvi, and Kadriye Ercikan, (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education, 4rd Edition, Vol. 7. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Sato, M. & Abbiss, J. (2021) International Insights on Evaluating Teacher Education Programs. In International Insights on Evaluating Teacher Education Programs, National Academy of Education. Commissioned by National Academy of Education. 2-29.
  • White, E.J., Westbrook, F., Hawkes, K., Lord, W. & Redder, B. (2021). (In)visible perceptions of objects (‘things’) during early transitions: Intertwining subjectivities in ECEC. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood DOI: 10.1177/14639491211027904
  • White, E.J. (2021). Mikhail Bakhtin: a two-faced encounter with child becoming(s) through dialogue, Early Child Development and Care. DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2020.1840371
  • White, E.J. & Gradovski, M. (2021). The legacy of the suprematist square for a sensing pedagogy: A non-objective creative contemplation for education. Educational Philosophy and Theory. DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1861939
  • White, E.J., Rooney, T., Gunn, A. & Nuttall, J. (2021). Understanding how early childhood educators ‘see’ learning through digitally cast eyes: Some preliminary concepts concerning the use of digital documentation platforms. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. DOI: 10.1177/1836939120979066
  • Fujimura, Y. & Sato, M. (2020). Reflecting on Japanese teacher education by looking globally at teacher education through a policy learning lens. In Fox J; Alexander C; Aspland T (Ed.), Teacher Education in Globalised Times Local Responses in Action: 331-348. Singapore: Springer Nature.
  • White, E. J. (Ed.). (2020). Seeing the world through children’s eyes: Visual methodologies and approaches to research in the early years. Brill|Sense.                                                                                                       
  • Brandist, C., Gardiner, M. E., White, E. J., & Mika, C. (Eds.). (2020). Bakhtin in the fullness of time: Bakhtinian theory and the process of social education. Routledge  
  • Abbiss J. (2019) Curriculum studies. In Kamp A (Ed.), Education Studies in Aotearoa: Key disciplines and emerging directions: 112-132. Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press.
  • Kim, S. J., & Sato, M. (2019). A consequential validity framework for performance assessment implementation based on a state-wide adoption of edTPA. A Practical Guide for edTPA Implementation and Success. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc.
  • Gradovski, M., Ødegaard, E. E., Rutanen, N., Sumsion, J., Mika, C., & White, E. J. (2019). The first 1000 days of Early Childhood: Becoming. Springer                                 
  • Abbiss, J. & Vanassche, E. (2019) Practice-focused research in initial teacher education. Oxford Research Encyclopedia: Education : 1-25.
  • Farquhar, S., & White, E. J. (Eds.). (2018). Philosophy and pedagogy of early childhood. Routledge
  • Sato, M. & Kemper, S. (2017). Teacher assessment from pre-service through in-service teaching. In J. Clandinin & J. Husu (Eds.), SAGE Handbook of Research on Teacher Education, London:  Sage Publications.
  • Sato, M. (2017). Empowered educators in China: How high-performing systems shape teaching quality. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Darling-Hammond, L., Burns, D., Campbell, C., Goodwin, A. L., Hammerness, K., Low, E. L., McIntyre, A., Sato, M., Zeichner, K. (2017). Empowered Educators: How high-performing systems shape teaching quality around the world. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Sato, M., & Rogers, C. (2017). Practical leadership: How teachers enact leadership to re-culture their schools. In C. Rogers, A.  Hilton, & K. Lomotey (Eds.) Cases in Educational Leadership. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Fickel, L. & Abbiss, J. (2019) Supporting secondary pre-service teacher identity development as culturally responsive and sustaining teachers. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education 5(2): 138-158.
  • Abbiss, J. (2016) Critical literacy in support of critical-citizenship education in social studies. set: Research Information for Teachers 2016(3): 29-35.
  • White, E. J. (2016). Introducing dialogic pedagogy: Provocations for the early years. Routledge. With video companion
  • Abbiss J. (2008) Rethinking the 'problem' of gender and IT schooling: discourses in literature. Gender and Education 20(2): 153-165.
pedagogies of possibilities

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