Dr Marek Tesar



Marek is a lecturer in childhood studies and early childhood education, with a focus on the philosophy and sociology of childhood, and the history of education/childhood. His research is concerned with the construction of childhoods, notions of place/space of childhoods, and newly qualified teachers.

Marek is a registered teacher in New Zealand and since the 1990s has taught around the world in diverse settings. Marek's doctoral thesis Governing Childhoods through Stories: A Havelian Analysis of Childhood Subjectivities, received prestigious Australasian and International acclaim and awards. Marek is currently leading a childhood studies research project that investigates childhood subjectivities and relationships with place/space, working with and alongside early childhood settings in Urban Auckland. Marek's research and scholarship is underpinned by notions of a fair and democratic society, in which creative thinking and disciplines shape professional practice, and where the child's voice and participation, particularly in early childhood, are taken seriously.

Research | Current

  • Childhood Studies Research Project: Auckland urban childhoods (PI), FRDF funded
  • Pedagogy and newly-qualified teachers in early childhood: Extending our understanding through narrative (AI), with Dr Sandy Farquhar (FRDF funded)
  • Director/Founder of Early Childhood Seminar Series Research Project (PI), with Maria Cooper (PBRF and North Shore Teachers College Trust funded) 
  • LIMS: A  National   Survey   of  Induction   and   Mentoring  in  New   Zealand:   Longitudinal  Studies   of Influences  on Teaching and Learning (AI), with Dr Frances Langdon, Dr Sandy Farquhar, and Melanie Palmer
  • Childhood subjectivities
  • Children’s literature

Teaching | Current


  • EDPROFST 214 - Assessment for Learning and Teaching
  • EDUC 380 - Methods of Research in Education
  • EDPROFST 313 - The Professional Teacher


Postgraduate supervision


  • MEd - Moana O'Sullivan: The effects of audio storytelling with young learners of English in Brunei: A case study (with Dr Jannie van Hees)
  • MEd - Juliette Pertab:  Early childhood student teachers’ perceptions on empowerment in Aotearoa / New Zealand (with Dr Adrienne Sansom)
  • MEd - Lucinda Murch: An investigation of nature play in natural outdoor early childhood settings (with AP Carol Mutch)
  • MEd - Sujatha Gomathinayagam: Understanding the perceptions and experiences of the early childhood education student teachers’ integration of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in their teaching practice
  • MEd - Marina Vaha: Niue Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand 


  • PhD - Yanming Ren: A Look at the Reproduction of Social Stratifications Strengthened by Cultural Capital in the Field of Schooling in Contemporary China (with Professor Saville Kushner)
  • PhD - Xiudi Zhang: The unrecognized understandings of citizenship: Chinese students studying in New Zealand (with Professor Saville Kushner)
  • PhD - Rebecca Hopkins: The Learning Stories assessment method and young children’s identity formation: How visual representations contribute to teacher and child understandings of learning and development (with Dr Sandy Farquhar)
  • PhD - Ali Formen: In search for a model of post-certified early childhood teacher professional development in Indonesia (with Dr Sandy Farquhar)
  • PhD - Oki Dermawan: Implementation of Early Childhood Education in Indonesia (with Dr Sandy Farquhar)
  • PhD - Xingzhen Lori Gao:  Metacognitive Instruction in Developing Listening Skills for Students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in the Language Classroom: A Study of University English Learners in China (with Professor Lawrence Zhang)
  • PhD - Sapna Sharma: The effect of role conflict and work overload on the occupational efficacy of teachers (with AP Carol Mutch)


  • 2014 Visiting Scholar at the College of Education, University of the Philippines Diliman
  • 2013 Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis (conferred in 2014)
  • 2013 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Qualitative Research Dissertation Award (conferred in 2014)
  • 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
  • 2013 American Educational Research Association (AERA) International Travel Award
  • 2012 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia annual doctoral award recipient in recognition of scholarly excellence
  • 2011 Doctoral Academic Career Module graduate, University of Auckland
  • 2010 University of Auckland Doctoral scholarship recipient
  • 2009 New Zealand Tertiary College Tinana award for excellence in teaching recipient
  • 2001 International Student Research SVOK Competition (3rd place)
  • 2001 National Student Research SVOK Competition (2nd place)


  • Faculty of Education Postgraduate Advisor
  • Early Childhood Education Sector TE programmes subcommittee
  • LDPP Teaching Learning Committee (Postgraduate portfolio)
  • LDPP Research Committee (Grants and scholarships portfolio)
  • LDPP Postgraduate Committee

Areas of expertise

  • Childhood studies
  • Early childhood education
  • Children's literature
  • Philosophy of education
  • History of education

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Journals and Editorial Boards

  • Executive Editor, The First Years Ngā Tau Tuatahi with Maria Cooper
  • Executive Editor, Journal of Pedagogy
  • Special Assistant to the Editor, Educational Philosophy and Theory
  • Educational Philosophy and Theory Editorial Development Group
  • Global Studies of Childhood journal editorial board
  • Knowledge Cultures journal editorial board
  • He Kupu journal editorial board
  • The First Years journal editorial committee
  • Theoros journal scientific committee

Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)
  • New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE)
  • Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Prescholaire (OMEP)
  • Narrative and Metaphor Special Interest Network (NMSIN)
  • Adjunct advisor of APRU DSN Executive Committee (2011-2014)


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Tesar, M. (2015). Te Whāriki in Aotearoa New Zealand: Witnessing and Resisting Neoliberal and Neo-colonial Discourses in Early Childhood Education. In V. Pacini-Ketchabaw, A. Taylor (Eds.) Unsettling the Colonial Places and Spaces of Early Childhood Education (pp. 145-170). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Tesar, M. (2015). Childhood and Borders. Oxford Bibliographies. 10.1093/OBO/9780199791231-0154
  • Tesar, M. (2015). Ethics and Truth in Archival Research. History of Education, 44 (1), 101-114. 10.1080/0046760X.2014.918185
  • Koro-Ljungberg, M., Carlson, D., Tesar, M., & Anderson, K. (2014). Methodology brut: Philosophy, Ecstatic Thinking, and Some Other (Unfinished) Things. Qualitative Inquiry. 10.1177/1077800414555070
  • Ergler, C., & Tesar, M. (2014). 1st New Zealand Childhood Studies Colloquium: Aotearoa's trials and tribulations of UNCRC's 'play grounds' in the past 25 years Auckland, New Zealand: Childhood Studies in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/25026
  • Tesar, M. (2014). My Feelings: Power, politics and childhood subjectivities. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 46 (8), 860-872. 10.1080/00131857.2013.781496
  • Tesar, M. (2014). Beyond the Reproduction of Childhoods: Child/Non-Human Bodies in Children’s Literature. In O’Connor P, K. Fitzpatrick (Eds.) Education and the Body (pp. 77-90). Auckland, NZ: Edify.
  • Tesar, M. (2014). Grandpa Frost, Pioneers and Political Subjectivities: A Historical Analysis of Childhoods in Totalitarian Czechoslovakia through Children’s Literature. Romanian Journal of Population Studies, 8 (2), 75-88.

Contact details

Web links

Alternative contact

Office: H104

Primary location

Level 1, Room 6EH-104
Auckland 1023
New Zealand