Dr Marek Tesar



Dr Marek Tesar is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean International at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. His current scholarship is in early childhood education in both New Zealand as well as in cross-country contexts. His work focuses on educational policy, philosophy, pedagogy, methodology and curriculum, and draws on his background as a qualified teacher as well as his extensive knowledge of international education systems.

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 over 100 peer-reviewed publications. His scholarly work has received numerous prestigious national and international awards and accolades. He edits 3 educational book series with renowned publishers, is Editor of 6 academic journals, and sits on 20 international editorial boards (see below).

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. Marek has conducted consultancy and research work in many countries around the world.

Research | Current

Marek’s research and supervisory expertise is in: 

a) early childhood education (pedagogy/curriculum/policy/philosophy)

b) global childhood studies (children’s lives/childhoods) 

c) the role of philosophy and post-theories in education and methodology (post-structural, post-qualitative, posthuman, new materialism, new empiricism etc.).

d) international and comparative education


Current Research Projects (Selected):

  • COLAB: Collaborative Online Learning Across Borders: Dialogues for socially just teaching and learning (PI, Collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the University of Tennesse). SEED funded
  • Indoor environment quality and experiences of health and wellbeing of children and teachers in urban early childhood education centres (PI, Collaboration with the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey, University of Waikato and Collingridge and Smith Architects). Industry Funded.
  • Director/Founder of Early Childhood Seminar Series Research Project (PI with M. Cooper), PBRF funded
  • Czech/Slovak Language Nest in New Zealand:  Culturally responsive pedagogies and protecting and honouring linguistic heritage (PI)

Postgraduate supervision


  • MEd – Ekaterina Woodside: Teachers working with parents: early childhood teachers communicating the meaning and relevance of Te Whāriki to parents of young children (with Ms. Kiri Gould).
  • MEd – Jie Li: Understanding the perceptions and experience of early childhood education teachers’ integration of children’s agency in their teaching practice when teaching children’s literature (with Ms. Kiri Gould).


  • PhD - Sapna Sharma: The effect of role conflict and work overload on the occupational efficacy of teachers (with Professor Carol Mutch)
  • PhD - Mina Badiei: Researching young children's perspectives: Curriculum in early years settings in New Zealand and Iran (with Professor Helen Hedges)
  • PhD – Pham Minh Hoa: Storytelling and storymaking in supporting Vietnamese language development in young children (with Professor Janet Gaffney).
  • PhD - Feifei Huang: Effective and Quality Interactions in Early Childhood Education (with Professor Lawrence Zhang).
  • PhD – And Pasley: (Re)territorialising the High School Gender Apparatus: A C(art)ographic Engagement with Gender Non-Conforming Students (with Professor Louisa Allen).
  • PhD – David Whitaker: Problematizing the (moving) image in educational research: Towards an ethico-aesthetic paradigm (with Dr Te Kawehau Hoskins and Dr Laura Trafí-Prats (MMU).
  • PhD – Anny Bertoli: The children's power perception in school and in social movements (with Professor Alan France (Arts)
  • PhD – Lorna Spicer: How do Auckland Primary Schools Evaluate Equity and Inclusion? (with Dr 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 Meg Jacobs and Dr Adrienne Sansom)
  • PhD - Evelyn Christina: Children’s Peer Relationships in an Inclusive Primary School: Peer Cultures Assemblages (with Professor Missy Morton)
  • PhD - Ome Suksomyos: Children with ADHD Transition from Kindergarten to Primary School (with Dr Deborah Widdowson)
  • PhD – Mihaela Enache: Crossing borders, shifting lives: immigrant early childhood teachers' autoethnographic stories about teaching and living in New Zealand (Advisor - with Professor Toni Bruce and Dr Esther Fitzpatrick)


  • 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


Associate Dean International

- Chairing and serving on relevant Faculty and University Committees associated with this role.

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 (current/main)

Journal Editing

Book Series Editing

Editorial Boards (selected)

  • Indonesian Journal of Early Childhood Education Studies
  • Dialogic Pedagogy Journal
  • Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education
  • Review of Contemporary Philosophy
  • Analysis and Metaphysics
  • Journal of Research in Gender Studies
  • Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice
  • Postdigital Science and Education 
  • International Journal of Early Years Education
  • Revista Internacional de Formação de Professores
  • International Critical Childhood Policy Studies
  • Educação Temática Digital
  • Global Studies of Childhood
  • Knowledge Cultures
  • Policy Futures in Education 
  • E-learning and Digital Media
  • Educational Philosophy and Theory
  • The First Years Ngā Tau Tuatahi
  • He Kupu

Professional Affiliations

  • 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)

  • 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
  • Tesar, M. (2020). Towards a Post-Covid-19 ‘New Normality?’: Physical and Social Distancing, the Move to Online and Higher Education. Policy Futures in Education, 18 (5), 556-559. 10.1177/1478210320935671
  • Arndt, S., & Tesar, M. (2020). Risking a great dithering: Changing the story of otherness through revolt. Somatechnics, 10 (1), 35-51. 10.3366/soma.2020.0299
  • Peters, M. A., Oladele, O. M., Green, B., Samilo, A., Lv, H., Amina, L., ... Xu, R. (2020). Education in and for the Belt and Road Initiative: The Pedagogy of Collective Writing. EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY10.1080/00131857.2020.1718828
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50646
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm
  • Peters, M. A., White, E. J., Besley, T., Locke, K., Redder, B., Novak, R., ... Sturm, S. (2020). Video ethics in educational research involving children: Literature review and critical discussion. EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY10.1080/00131857.2020.1717920
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm, Michael Peters, Kirsten Locke
  • Arndt, S., & Tesar, M. (2020). Philosophy, the Child in. In D. T. Cook (Ed.) The Sage Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies (pp. 1231-1235). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 10.4135/9781529714388.n455
  • Tesar, M. (2020). Childhoods and time, philosophical perspectives. In D. T. Cook (Ed.) The Sage Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies (pp. 351-354). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 10.4135/9781529714388.n135
  • Tesar, M. (2020). “Philosophy as a Method”: Tracing the Histories of Intersections of “Philosophy,” “Methodology,” and “Education”. Qualitative Inquiry, online first10.1177/1077800420934144


Contact details

Alternative contact

Office: H104

Mobile: +64 21 100 9296

WeChat: Marek_Tesar

Skype: Marek Tesar

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 104
New Zealand

Web links