Dr Marek Tesar



Marek is a senior 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

Marek's work has received numerous national and international awards and accolades. He has published and disseminated his work in many books and journals, and also to the early childhood community, and is an Editor-in-Chief for both national and international journals and a book series editor. Recently Marek has been leading international and local teams of experts in Indonesia to establish a research centre of excellence for early childhood education and parenting, that will serve the countries of South-East Asia regions. He is also very active in the development of inclusive, democratic and sustainable educational policies in Central Europe. Marek’s scholarship and activism merges theoretical work with a practical impact on the everyday (and mundane) lives of children and their childhoods in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas.

Research | Current

  • Teachers talk knowledge: Development and Implementation of a Critical Ecological Ethnographic Research Instrument (PI with S. Farquhar and A. Gibbons), FRDF funded
  • Urban Childhoods (PI), ECREA funded
  • Czech/Slovak Language Nest in New Zealand:  Culturally responsive pedagogies and protecting and honouring linguistic heritage (PI), PBRF Funded
  • Director/Founder of Early Childhood Seminar Series Research Project (PI with M. Cooper), PBRF funded

Postgraduate supervision


  • MEd - Bridgette Towle: The art of becoming: exploring the affective potential of intra-activity on creative expression in early childhood education (with Dr Sandy Farquhar)


  • 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 - Vicki Hargraves: Creative Thinking in Early Childhood: Engaging Te Whāriki’s Working Theories in an Immanent Materialist Creativity by Thinking Deleuzo-Guattarian (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)
  • PhD - Mina Badiei: Researching young children's perspectives: Curriculum in early years settings in New Zealand and Iran (with AP Helen Hedges)
  • PhD - Susanne Manning: Parents, Policy and Playcentre (with Dr Sandy Farquhar)
  • PhD - Elise Muryanti: Traditional games in Minang society (with Dr Sandy Farquhar)
  • PhD – Yulida Pangastuti: Finding voices telling stories: A journey of an Indonesia researcher in early childhood education of West Timor (with AP Barbara Grant and Dr Ritesh Shah).
  • PhD – Pham Minh Hoa: Storytelling and storymaking in supporting Vietnamese language development in young children (with Professor Janet Gaffney).


  • 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 (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 award recipient
  • 2009 New Zealand Tertiary College Tinana award for excellence in teaching recipient
  • 2001 International Student Research SVOK award
  • 2001 National Student Research SVOK award



  • LDPP Postgraduate Advisor
  • Faculty of Education and Social Work Postgraduate Committee
  • LDPP Postgraduate Committee

Areas of expertise

  • Childhood studies
  • Early childhood education
  • Qualitative methodologies and research
  • Post-qualitative methodologies and research
  • Philosophy of education
  • History of education
  • Sociology and anthropology of childhood
  • Archival research
  • Childhood subjectivities
  • Children's literature

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Research Leadership

  • Director: Early Childhood Seminar Series, including YouTube channel (with Maria Cooper)
  • Director: Childhood Studies in Aotearoa New Zealand Research Network ESOCSCI, linked with Journal for Child, Youth & Family Studies Review (with Christina Ergler)
  • Co-lead: EPAT Editorial Developmental Group
  • Secretary: Editors' Council Collective
  • Secretary/Treasurer: AERA Foucault and Contemporary Theory in Education SIG
  • Executive Committee member: Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (Archives portfolio)
  • Chair: AERA Critical Perspectives on ECE SIG Dissertation Award Committee (2017)
  • Co-Chair Programme Committee: Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education (2015, Dublin)
  • Co-Chair Host Committee: Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education (2016, Taupo)
  • Scientific Board Member: Creative University network and conference
  • International Committee member: Summer Institute in Antipodes 2016
  • Steering Committe member: Research and Youth Network at University of Auckland
  • Steering Committe member: Center for Research in Kenya at Trnava University
  • Advisor: International Advisory Board for 3rd International Conference of Early Childhood Education 2016 in Bandung, Indonesia.
  • Advisor: International Advisory Board for HANS - High functioning autism Asperger iNclusive Spectrum
  • Advisor: International Advisory Board for InkluCity, Slovakia 
  • Member: Strategy Bibliometrics Group

Journal Editing

Editorial Boards

  • Global Studies of Childhood journal editorial board
  • E-learning and Digital Media journal editorial board
  • Knowledge Cultures journal editorial board
  • He Kupu journal editorial board
  • The First Years journal editorial committee
  • Theoros journal scientific committee
  • Revista Internacional de Formação de Professores journal editorial board
  • International Critical Childhood Policy Studies journal editorial board
  • Educação Temática Digital journal editorial board
  • International Journal of Early Years Education editorial board

Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Common Worlds Childhoods Research Collective (commonworlds.net)
  • 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)

  • Tesar, M. (2017). Tracing notions of sustainability in urban childhoods. In K. Malone, S. Truong, T. Gray (Eds.) Reimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times (pp. 115-127). New York, NY: Springer. 10.1007/978-981-10-2550-1
  • Peters, M. A., & Tesar, M. (2017). Bad research, bad education: The contested evidence for evidence-based research, policy and practice in education. In J. Lynch, J. Rowlands, T. Gale, A. Skourdoumbis (Eds.) Practice theory and education : Diffractive readings in professional practice (pp. 231-246). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Heraud, R., & Tesar, M. (2017). Shaping the global civil society: An interview with Michael Peters. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49 (2), 112-126. 10.1080/00131857.2015.1069038
  • Peters, M. A., Jandrić P, Irwin, R., Locke, K., Devine, N., Heraud, R., ... Forster, D. (2016). Towards a philosophy of academic publishing. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 48 (14), 1401-1425. 10.1080/00131857.2016.1240987
  • Tesar, M. (2016). Timing childhoods: An alternative reading of children’s development through philosophy of time, temporality, place and space. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17 (4), 399-408. 10.1177/1463949116677924
  • Tesar, M., Farquhar, S., Gibbons, A., Myers, C. Y., & Bloch, M. N. (2016). Childhoods and time: Rethinking notions of temporality in early childhood education. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17 (4), 359-366. 10.1177/1463949116677931
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sandy Farquhar
  • Tesar, M. (2016). On ethics, policy and the philosophy of education. Policy Futures in Education, 14 (6), 593-596. 10.1177/1478210316665293
  • Farquhar, S., & Tesar, M. (2016). Focus groups as temporal ecosystems for newly qualified early childhood teachers. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17 (3), 261-274. 10.1177/1463949116660949
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sandy Farquhar

Contact details

Alternative contact

Office: H104

Primary location

Level 1 , Room 104
New Zealand

Web links