Difficult dialogues to critical multilogues: Posthuman encounters in bicultural teaching and learning in an early childhood setting in Aotearoa New Zealand. (Free, online, Monday 20th Feb 2023, 12:00-13:00 UK Time

Alison Warren – Bio

Alison Warren is an early childhood teacher educator with Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand. Her doctoral thesis used concepts from Deleuze and Guattari to investigate how emotions and ways of becoming are shaped in early childhood teaching. Her present research interests are in engaging with posthumanist theories in relation with early childhood teaching and learning and with Indigenous Māori concepts and values. This seminar draws on research into bicultural teaching and learning and draws on Rosi Braidotti’s framework of critical posthumanism.


This seminar will explore what might be produced in curious and creative relations within entanglements of human and nonhuman components in an early childhood setting in Aotearoa. Difficult dialogues can become critical multilogues within an expansive posthumanist view that understands ‘conversations’ in terms of diverse ways of affecting and being affected. In Aotearoa, ongoing conditions of colonisation continue to enmesh human and nonhuman ways of being and becoming. Macro and micro elements and tensions shape how bicultural teaching and learning is understood in wider society and lived in one early childhood setting. The bicultural early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki mandates teaching and learning that reflects Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership between Māori and non-Maōri. This presentation will oscillate between ‘big ideas’ and micro-relations. Big ideas at a societal level include difficult negotiations between colonialist settlers and Māori, and navigations of visions of education incorporating Māori values and concepts within mainstream systems firmly entrenched within Westernised beliefs and practices. Micro-processes of everyday intra-actions within one early childhood setting are explored through stories and conversations that go beyond the spoken word, among children and their families, teachers, materials and resources, policies and process. Dispositions of curiosity and creativity combine with a concept of critical multilogues to reframe difficulty in hopeful ways.