Professor Marek Tesar



Professor Marek Tesar is Head of School of Learning Development and Professional Practice, and the Associate Dean International at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. He is also the director of Centre for Global Childhoods. His award-winning scholarship is focused on early childhood education in both New Zealand as well as in cross-country contexts. His academic work and consultancy focuses on educational policy, philosophy, pedagogy, methodology and curriculum, and draws on his background as a qualified teacher. Currently, Marek serves as a leader of two leading learned societies in his fields; he chairs the Steering Committee of the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE), and is elected President of Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)

Marek’s scholarship and activism merges theoretical work with a practical focus on the everyday lives of children and their childhoods in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. He has published 200 peer-reviewed publications, and his scholarly work has received many prestigious national and international awards and accolades. He edits 4 educational book series with renowned publishers, is Editor of 6 academic journals, and sits on over 20 international editorial boards.

In 2016 Marek led a team of international and local experts in Indonesia to establish a research centre of excellence for early childhood education, care and parenting, that serves the South-East Asia region (SEAMEO). While his research is mainly focused on the early years, he has substantial experience and knowledge of educational systems more generally. Since 2018, Marek has been leading a team of New Zealand early childhood experts to deliver a curriculum framework, and teaching and parenting programmes in China. In 2020, Marek was appointed as a Research Fellow at SEAMEO to provide expertise on future research and development initiatives and programmes, and enhance cooperation in education, science and culture in Southeast Asia.

Marek's recent books:

Theorising Posthuman Childhood Studies (Springer, 2020)

Handbook of Global Childhoods (Sage, 2021)

The Methodology and Philosophy of Collective Writing. An Education Philosophy and Theory Reader (Routledge, 2021)

Marek's recent journal articles:

Towards a Post-Covid-19 ‘New Normality?’: Physical and Social Distancing, the Move to Online and Higher Education (Policy Futures in Education, 2020) OPEN ACCESS

Philosophy of Education in a New Key: The Future of Philosophy of Education (Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2021)

Philosophy as a Method: Tracing the histories of intersections of ‘philosophy’, ‘methodology’ and ‘education’ (Qualitative Inquiry, 2021)

Infantographies (Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2021)

Intantmethodologies (Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2021)

Communities of Care: A collective writing project on philosophies, politics and pedagogies of care and education in the early years (Policy Futures in Education, 2022) OPEN ACCESS

Research | Current

Marek’s research, consultancy, and supervisory expertise is in: 

  • early childhood education (pedagogy/curriculum/policy/philosophy)
  • global childhood studies (children’s lives and childhoods) 
  • the role of philosophy and post-theories in education and methodology (post-structural, post-qualitative, posthuman, new materialism, new empiricism etc.)
  • international and comparative education

Current Research Projects (Selected):

Postgraduate supervision

  • PhD - Sapna Sharma: The effect of role conflict and work overload on the occupational efficacy of teachers (with Prof Carol Mutch).
  • PhD – Anny Bertoli: The children's power perception in school and in social movements (with Prof Alan France (Arts).
  • PhD – Lorna Spicer: How do Auckland Primary Schools Evaluate Equity and Inclusion? (with Prof Deidre Le Fevre and Dr Hinekura Smith).
  • PhD - Phoebe Zhen Tong: Cultural meaning of children's agency and historical constructs of childhood in China (with Dr Adrienne Sansom).
  • PhD - Evelyn Christina: Children’s Peer Relationships in an Inclusive Primary School: Peer Cultures Assemblages (with Prof Missy Morton).
  • PhD – Adriano de Francesco: Negotiating “Humanity” in a Secondary School Class: Affective Landscapes and the Pragmatics of Recognition (with Prof Susanna Trnka (Arts).
  • PhD – Lauren Willing: Interspecies Response-ability in the Anthropocene: Children, Horses, Dogs and Education (with Dr Esther Fitzpatrick).
  • PhD - Imogen Spray: High School Students and Mental Wellbeing in Aotearoa/New Zealand (with Prof Susanna Trnka (Arts).
  • PhD - Mahmud Hussain: A Theory of Alphabet Book (with Dr Camilla Highfield)
  • PhD - Tuire Colliander: Dance at Play - Bringing together Children, Movement and Play in the Context of Artistic Research and Dialogical Dance Pedagogy (supervision at the University of Arts, Helsinki with Prof Eeva Anttila).


  • 2021 World Class Professor (WCP) appointment, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia (sponsored by UPI)
  • 2020 Research Fellow at SEAMEO, South East Asia
  • 2019 Adjunct Professor at RMIT University
  • 2018 New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) Judith Duncan Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Research
  • 2017 AERA-SRCD Early Career Fellow
  • 2016 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Critical Perspectives in Early Childhood Education Emerging Scholar Award
  • 2015 Early Career Research Excellence Award (ECREA), University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2013 Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis
  • 2013 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Qualitative Research Dissertation Award
  • 2013 New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) Sutton-Smith Award for the best doctoral thesis
  • 2013 Dean’s list award in recognition of excellence achieved in a PhD thesis
  • 2012 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia award recipient in recognition of scholarly excellence
  • 2010 University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar award recipient
  • 2009 New Zealand Tertiary College Tinana award for excellence in teaching


Head of School (Learning, Development and Professional Practice)

Associate Dean International

- Chairing and serving on relevant Faculty and University Committees associated with these roles.

Areas of expertise

  • Early childhood education
  • Qualitative methodologies and research
  • Childhood subjectivities
  • Children's literature
  • Global Childhood studies
  • International and Comparative Research
  • Post-structural, post-qualitative, posthuman, new materialism, new empiricism theories and methodologies
  • Philosophy of education
  • History of education
  • Sociology and anthropology of childhood
  • Archival research

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Research Leadership

Journal Editing

Book Series Editing

Editorial Boards

Sitting on over 20 editorial boards for international journals and book series

Professional Affiliations (selected)

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
  • Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education (RECE)
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)
  • New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE)
  • Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Prescholaire (OMEP)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Gibbons, A., Tesar, M., Arndt, S., Kupferman, D., Badenhorst, D., Jackson, L., ... Peters, M. A. (2021). The highway robber’s road to Knowledge Socialism: A collective work on collective work. In M. A. Peters, T. Besley, Jandrić P, X. Zhu (Eds.) Knowledge Socialism: The Rise of Peer Production: Collegiality, Collaboration, and Collective Intelligence (pp. 301-325). Singapore: Springer. 10.1007/978-981-13-8126-3_15
  • Jackson, L., Alston, K., Bialystok, L., Blum, L., Burbules, N. C., Chinnery, A., ... Norris, T. (2020). Philosophy of education in a New Key: Snapshot 2020 from the United States and Canada. EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY10.1080/00131857.2020.1821189
  • Jandric, P., Jaldemark, J., Hurley, Z., Bartram, B., Matthews, A., Jopling, M., ... Rothmuller, N. (2020). Philosophy of education in a new key: Who remembers Greta Thunberg? Education and environment after the coronavirus. EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY10.1080/00131857.2020.1811678
  • Jandrić P, Gibbons, A., Sturm, S. R., Stewart, G., Hood, N., Tesar, M., & Devine, N. (2020). Teaching in the age of Covid-19. Postdigital Science and Education10.1007/s42438-020-00169-6
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm, Nina Hood
  • Papastephanou, M., Zembylas, M., Bostad, I., Oral, S. B., Drousioti, K., Kouppanou, A., ... Tesar, M. (2020). Philosophy of education in a new key: Education for justice now. EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY10.1080/00131857.2020.1793539
  • Waghid, Y., Davids, N., Mathebula, T., Terblanche, J., Higgs, P., Shawa, L., ... Divala, J. (2020). Philosophy of education in a new key: Cultivating a living philosophy of education to overcome coloniality and violence in African Universities. EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY10.1080/00131857.2020.1793714
  • Reader, J., Jandric, P., Peters, M. A., Barnett, R., Garbowski, M., Lipińska V, ... Hashemi, M. (2020). Enchantment - disenchantment - re-enchantment: Postdigital relationships between science, philosophy, and religion. Postdigital Science and Education10.1007/s42438-020-00133-4
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nina Hood
  • Peters, M. A., Rizvi, F., McCulloch, G., Gibbs, P., Gorur, R., Hong, M., ... Robertson, S. (2020). Reimagining the new pedagogical possibilities for universities post-Covid-19. Educational Philosophy and Theory10.1080/00131857.2020.1777655


Contact details

Alternative contact

Office: H523

Mobile: +64 21 100 9296

WeChat: Marek_Tesar

Skype: Marek Tesar

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 510
New Zealand

Web links