Dr Sandy Farquhar

PhD, MA (Hons 1), BA, DipTchg


Dr Sandy Farquhar is Programme Director (ECE) and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education. Sandy’s main research area is philosophy of early childhood education. She has published widely in the area of narrative theories, including her book, Ricoeur, identity and early childhood (2010) and two co-edited special issues of Educational Philosophy and Theory on the philosophy of early childhood (2007 and 2014).

Sandy has taught at the University of Auckland for more than ten years across a range of programmes in liberal arts and teacher education, in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. She has a variety of teaching and research interests including early childhood curriculum and pedagogy, philosophy of education, early childhood politics and policy, childhood studies and theories of narrative identity. Sandy supervises a number of postgraduate students at Masters and Doctoral levels.

Research | Current

Pedagogy and newly-qualified teachers in early childhood: Extending our understanding through narrative (PI) with Dr Marek Tesar (FRDF funded)

LIMS: National Survey of Induction and Mentoring in New Zealand: Longitudinal Studies of Influences on Teaching and Learning (AI) with Dr Frances Langdon, Dr Marek Tesar, and Melanie Palmer

Narrative identities: Children’s well-being and learning (PI) (PBRF funded)

Tel-lis: Children tell about their well-being – who listens? (AI) with Eila Estola, University of Oulu, Finland.

Gifted and Talented in tertiary education (AI) with Associate Professor Christine Rubie Davies et al (Ako Aotearoa funded)


Teaching | Current


EDPROFST 313 The Professional Teacher



EDPROFST 765 Early Years Development

EDUC 767 Childhood Studies

EDUC 713 Childhood and Globalisation

EDPROFST 751 ECE Curriculum Issues

Postgraduate supervision

Supervisions Current


Mihaela Enache: Early childhood teachers’ cultural autobiographies as means of multicultural engagement in the classroom. (With Esther Fitzpatrick.)

Kylie Smith: Mixed age early childhood settings and communities of learning. (With Maria Cooper.)

Bridgette Towle: The art of becoming: exploring the affective potential of intra-activity on creative expression in early childhood education. (With Marek Tesar.)


PhD – Suzanne Manning: Discourses of equity and social justice in ECE in Aotearoa. (With Marek Tesar; advisor: Maxine Stephenson.)

PhD – Vicki Hargraves: Creative Thinking in Early Childhood: Engaging Te Whāriki’s Working Theories in an Immanent Materialist Creativity by Thinking Deleuzo-Guattarian. (With Marek Tesar.)

PhD – Barb O’Loughlin: What might high-quality learning for tamariki Māori in early childhood education look like? (With Melinda Webber.)

PhD – Helen Pritchard - The Nature of Experiences in the Arts in Early Childhood Education (With Adrienne Sansom; advisor: Trevor Thwaites.)

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 Marek Tesar)

PhD - Ali Formen: In search for a model of post-certified early childhood teacher professional development in Indonesia. (With Marek Tesar)

PhD – Elise Muryanti: Using  socio indigenous play in introducing English to very young learners. (With Marek Tesar.)

PhD – Kiri Gould: Privatisation and Social Justice in Early Childhood Policy and Practice. (With Angel Chan.)

PhD – Susan Widger: Complexities of interactional experiences when working with young children, from birth to three years, in early childhood settings. (With Adrienne Sansom.)



Director ECE, Faculty of Education

Since being at the University I have and continue to serve on a range of School and Faculty committees.

Areas of expertise

Philosophy of education (hermeneutics and post-structuralism)

Early childhood education (critical and philosophical analysis of curriculum; policy and pedagogy; feminist perspectives)

Childhood studies

Policy analysis (discourse analysis)

Narrative theories

Teacher education (teacher identities and transitions)

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Co-director Narrative and Metaphor Special Interest Network.

    Associate Editor, Educational Philosophy and Theory, including joint editor of two special issues.

    Editorial Advisor, The First Years. Nga Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education.

    Programme committee member for the international Reconceptualising early childhood education conference.

    Member of: Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia, Te Tari Puna o Aotearoa, and 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.
  • 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: Marek Tesar
  • 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: Marek Tesar
  • Le Fevre, D. M., & Farquhar, S. L. (2016). Re(cognizing) leadership: Women in early childhood education and the academy. In H. Brown, R. D. Sawyer, J. Norris (Eds.) Forms of practitioner reflexivity: Critical, conversational, and arts-based approaches (pp. 135-149). New York, USA: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Farquhar, S., & Fitzsimons, P. (2016). Seeing through the metaphor: The OECD quality toolbox for early childhood. Semiotica, 2016 (212), 97-110. 10.1515/sem-2016-0134
  • Farquhar, S., & Tesar, M. (2016). Theorizing what it means to be pedagogical in (the) early years (of) teaching. In W. Parnell, J. M. Iorio (Eds.) Disrupting early childhood education research: Imagining new possibilities. New York, USA: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315733623
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marek Tesar
  • Farquhar, S. L., & Fitzpatrick, E. (2016). Unearthing truth in duoethnographic method. Qualitative Research Journal, 16 (3), 238-250. 10.1108/QRJ-07-2015-0061
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Esther Fitzpatrick
  • Farquhar, S. (2015). Early Childhood Sector. Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Singapore: Springer. 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_56-1
  • Farquhar, S., & Fitzsimons, P. (2015). Metaphor and Edusemiotics. In M. A. Peters (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Singapore: Springer. 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_22-1