A Critical Posthumanist Orientation in Higher Education
Founder of the DECD Project
I am a Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Oulu, Finland, and an Emerita Professor of Pedagogy and Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. I am a teacher educator and grounded in academic philosophy and a post qualitative research paradigm, my main research interests are in philosophy of education, early child studies, ethics, children’s literature, and digital play. Amsterdam-born but having mostly lived and worked in the UK and Africa, my special expertise is researching early childhood, primary and teacher education in South Africa, and more recently, Finland.
Rose-Anne Reynolds has a PhD in Education from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Rose-Anne is a Foundation Phase/ Early Childhood Education lecturer in the School of Education, at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is primarily involved in initial teacher education with postgraduate students. Rose-Anne’s PhD thesis is entitled, A posthuman reconfiguring of philosophy with children in a government primary school in South Africa. Her research interests include Philosophy with Children (P4wC), the Philosophy of Child and Childhood, Pedagogies of Enquiry, Early Childhood Education, Postqualitative Research and Inclusive Education including Disability Studies. Rose-Anne is a Level 1 Philosophy with Children trainer and co-ordinates the Southern African P4wC network. Some of Rose- Anne’s publications can be found here: http://www.education.uct.ac.za/rose-anne-reynolds
Research Assistant for the DECD Project
George began their undergraduate studies in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics and continued with a postgraduate in Social Development. They have worked in the education space in different ways: in NPOs, as well as workshop facilitation, online course creation, tutoring and in-class teaching.
They currently run a Knowledge Club for primary school children in Woodstock - reading, playing, and making use of the neighbourhood Commons.
Karen Michelle Barad (born 29 April 1956), is an American feminist theorist, known particularly for their theory of Agential Realism. They are currently Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They are the author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Their research topics include feminist theory, physics, twentieth-century continental philosophy, epistemology, ontology, philosophy of physics, cultural studies of science, and feminist science studies.
Barad earned their doctorate in theoretical physics at Stony Brook University. Their dissertation presented computational methods for quantifying properties of quarks, and other fermions, and in the framework of lattice gauge theory.
Karen is a member of the Decolonising Early Childhood Discourses research group and presented a two-day seminar near Cape Town in 2017.
I am faculty in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, where I direct the Childhood Place Pedagogy Lab. I am also affiliated faculty in the School of the Environment. My research focuses on anticolonial place-based and environmental education.
Rosi Braidotti is a Philosopher and Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University as well as the founding director of the Centre for the Humanities in Utrecht.
Erica is Professor of Education at the University of Manchester, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists registered Group Analyst (and full member of the Institute of Group Analysis). She trained as a developmental psychologist, and is well known as a critical developmental psychologist and methodologist specialising in innovative and activist qualitative research. She is author of Developments: child, image, nation (Routledge, 2020, 2nd edition), Fanon, education, action: child as method (Routledge, 2019), Deconstructing Developmental Psychology (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2017), and is an Associate Editor of the SAGE Encyclopaedia of Childhood and Childhood Studies (2020).. Erica's research has focused on critical developmental and educational psychology, feminist and postcolonial theory, childhood studies, and on critical mental health practice (particularly around gender and cultural issues). Much of her current work addresses the connections between emotions, mental health and (social as well as individual) change, in particular as anchored by representations of, and appeals to, childhood. She has co-led funded research projects on conceptualising and challenging state and interpersonal violence in relation to minoritised women and children, and on educational and mental health impacts of poverty and 'austerity'.. For further information see http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/Erica.burman/ and www.ericaburman.com). She is a past Chair of the Psychology of Women (now Psychology of Women and Equalities) Section of the British Psychological Society, and in 2016 she was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Fellowship of the British Psychological Society in recognition of her contribution to Psychology.
Vivienne Bozalek is an Emerita Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University. She was previously a Senior Professor and Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of the Western Cape. She holds a PhD from Utrecht University. Her research interests and publications include the political ethics of care and social justice, posthumanism and feminist new materialisms, innovative pedagogical practices in higher education, post-qualitative and participatory methodologies. Her most recent co-edited books include Theorising Learning to Teach in Higher Education with Brenda Leibowitz and Peter Kahn, Socially Just Pedagogies: Posthumanist, Feminist and Materialist Perspectives in Higher Education with Rosi Braidotti, Tamara Shefer and Michalinos Zembylas (Routledge 2019), Nancy Fraser and Participatory Parity: Reframing social justice in South African higher education with Dorothee Hölscher and Michalinos Zembylas (Routledge, 2020), Posthuman and Political Care Ethics for Reconfiguring Higher Education with Michalinos Zembylas and Joan Tronto (Routledge, 2021), Post-Anthropocentric Social Work: Critical Posthuman and New Materialist Perspectives, with Bob Pease (Routledge, 2021), Higher education hauntologies: Living with ghosts for a justice-to-come with Michalinos Zembylas, Siddique Motala and Dorothee Hölscher, (Routledge, 2021). She is the editor-in-chief of the open source online journal Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa
Joanne Peers is a PhD candidate at The University of Oulu in Finland where she is pursuing relationality in environmental education through thinking with bodies, water, time, memory and space. Her interest in justice and activism in the Global South brings watery ways of relating to oceans, environments and education. She is a Pedagogical Leader, lecturer and teaching practice convener in the BEd Foundation Phase degree programme at The Centre for Creative Education in Cape Town. Her unique position of working in Higher Education and fulfilling the role as collaborator with resourced and under-resourced schools in Cape Town allows extensive worlding with theory and practice in education. Recently her role as a researcher of the Learning through Digital Play presented another line in the meshwork of education with children, teachers, families and communities in South Africa. Joanne shares her life with companion species (dogs and other critters) and is held in the care of being a mother and community with others. Participating in relational ways in education has allowed Joanne to approach issues of care, ethics, and the image of child and childhoods in South Africa. A growing interest in transdisciplinary projects has become part of her working with swimming methodologies and propositions in the environmental humanities, especially related to watery lives and bodies.
Theresa Giorza is a lecturer in Childhood Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Education in Johannesburg, South Africa. She brings her considerable experience and expertise in the arts to early years education. Adding Philosophy with Children (P4C) -using picture storybooks - to her pedagogical practice, she foregrounds the power of stories and images to inspire and enhance children’s engagement with both ‘word’ and ‘world’. Theresa’s research focuses on creative, multimodal and enquiry-based approaches to early learning that establish the foundations and motivations for literacy and learning more broadly. She completed her PhD in 2018 and Springer published her monograph entitled: Learning with Damaged Colonial Places: Posthumanist pedagogies from a Joburg Preschool, in 2021. Theresa is part of a growing international community of Feminist New materialist scholars who refuse to separate education and knowledge-production from the political and ethical choices we face in a world plagued by inequality and eco-cide.
Weili Zhao obtained her Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a Professor of Curriculum Studies at Hangzhou Normal University of China. With intellectual training in both discourse analysis and curriculum studies, she is interested in unpacking China’s current educational thinking and curriculum practices at the nexus, and as the (dis)assemblage, of tradition and modernity, East and West. Specifically, she has been exploring discourses, languages, and translingual practices as a colonial and de-colonial gesture in transnational knowledge transfer and reproduction. As an alternative, she uses a historical lens to explicate Eastern onto-episteme-ethics for new openings, which can be dialogued with the decolonial scholarship, in re-imagining, among others, teaching, learning, child, human-non-human relationship, language, body, and subjectivity.
Joanna Haynes is Associate Professor in Education Studies at Plymouth University Institute of Education. Her background is in philosophy and her research interests include democratic and community education and intragenerational learning; children’s literature and philosophy of/in childhood/s. She has been involved with the Philosophy with Children movement since 1994 and has published widely in this field. Her books include Children as Philosophers (2008), Perspectives on Participation and Inclusion (2009), Philosophy and Education: key questions and themes (2014) and (with Karin Murris) Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012) and Literacies, Literature and Learning: Reading Classrooms Differently (2018). She is co-editor of The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children (2017). Together with Jocey Quinn, Joanna co-ordinates the Adventures in Posthumanism Group, originated at Plymouth University Institute of Education https://adventuresinposthum.wordpress.com/
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I am a Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Curriculum at Western University in Ontario, Canada. Prior to joining Western University, I was a Professor at the School of Child & Youth Care at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, where I now serve as Adjunct Professor.
Jayne Osgood is Professor of Childhood Studies at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University. Her work addresses issues of social justice through critical engagement with policy, curricular frameworks, and pedagogical approaches in ECEC. She is committed to extending understandings of the workforce, families, gender and sexualities, ‘the child’, and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts through creative, affective methodologies. She has published extensively within the post- modernist paradigm with over 100 publications in the form of books, chapters and journal papers, her most recent books include Feminists Researching Gendered Childhoods (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Art (Bloomsbury, 2019). She has served on the editorial boards of various journals and is a long-standing board member at Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. She is currently editor at Gender & Education Journal and Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology Journal. She is also Book Series Editor for both Bloomsbury (Feminist Thought in Childhood Research) and (Keythinkers in Education) Springer.
Hilary Janks is an Emerita Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her teaching and research has been in the areas of language and literacy education, specialising in Critical Literacy. She is currently working on a book, Being and Becoming Literate: Researching a Child’s Intra-active, Embodied, Textual Play.
Angela Molloy Murphy, Ed.D. was an early childhood educator from 1990-2020, when she joined the University of Melbourne as an early childhood lecturer. Her post-qualitative research enacts critical posthumanism, feminist new materialisms, and experimental arts practices to research the relational and multimodal narrative processes of children and the more-than human.
Soern Finn Menning is Associate Professor in the Department of Education, University of Agder, Norway. In his previous research, he explored curiosity as value-loaded notion in educational practices. He also has background in visual communication and has worked as screenwriter for short and feature films. He is currently working on combing both areas through developing postqualitative video methodologies in research.
Sumaya holds a Masters degree in speech-language pathology. She has worked extensively with children from birth to school age who present with speech-language and
communication difficulties including autism, neurogenic disorders and early childhood dis/ability. Her scope of clinical practice include a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, non-governmental organisations and private practices in Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition she has taught at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in the capacity of lecturer and clinical supervisor. Sumaya is currently completing her doctoral research in the School of Education, University of Cape Town under the supervision of Professor Karin Murris. Her research focuses on engaging
autistic children with complex learning and communication difficulties in dialogical enquiry within learning and therapeutic settings. Her work is guided by Karen Barads Agential Realism, decolonizing practices in education, postqualitative research methods and transdisciplinary research engagement. Her research has been presented at local and international conferences.
“Seeing the potential of discarded materials as resources for creative teaching, learning and inquiry”
After spending 30 years in New York City working with young children, I relocated back to South Africa and settled in Cape Town. I have a partner, two grown up sons and two pets, a dog and a cat. My interests include art, design, indigenous plants and walking and swimming in nature. I am a life-long learner who believes that knowledge is created in the making and the doing of inquiry.
I am currently creating a materials centre in Cape Town and Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape called iZinto that collects and curates discarded materials. These materials are offered for exploration and inquiry.
Although I am not a scholar, I continue to engage with scholars, educators and artists interested in re-viewing approaches to early education. I am interested in maintaining a connection with the DECD community as it continues to inspire my thinking and I have developed some deep relationships with many of the people I have met through the DECD group.
Candace R. Kuby, PhD is Professor of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Missouri, serving as the Director of Qualitative Inquiry. She received her PhD in Literacy, Culture, and Language education from Indiana University. Dr. Kuby previously taught primary grades in public U.S. schools and preschoolers in Japan. Dr. Kuby’s research interests are: 1) the coming-to-be of literacies when young children work with artistic and digital tools, and 2) approaches to and pedagogies of qualitative inquiry when thinking with poststructural and posthumanist philosophies. She is the co-author of Speculative Pedagogies of Qualitative Inquiry (2020, Routledge); co-editor of Posthumanism and Literacy Education: Knowing/Becoming/Doing Literacies (2019, Routledge); co-author of Go Be a Writer!: Expanding the Curricular Boundaries of Literacy Learning (2016, Teachers College Press); co-editor of Disrupting Qualitative Inquiry: Possibilities and Tensions in Educational Research (2014, Peter Lang); and author of Critical Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom: Unpacking Histories, Unlearning Privilege (2013, Teachers College Press). Journals in which her scholarship appears include Qualitative Inquiry; International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education; Journal of Early Childhood Literacy; Journal of Literacy Research; Cultural Studies 🡨🡪 Critical Methodologies; Literacy; and Language Arts. Dr. Kuby serves as co-editor of the Routledge book series: Postqualitative, New Materialist and Critical Posthumanist Research (lead editor, Karin Murris). With Dr. Viv Bozalek, Dr. Kuby co-hosts a webinar series: Post Philosophies and the Doing of Inquiry, with recordings available on YouTube.
Walter Omar Kohan holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Iberoamericana University mentored by Matthew Lipman and did post-doctoral Studies in Philosophy at the University of Paris 8. He is a Full Professor of Philosophy of Education at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Senior Researcher of the National Council of Scientific and Technologic Development (CNPQ, Brazil) and of the Foundation of Support of Research of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ, Brazil). Among his books in English: Childhood, Education and Philosophy: New Ideas for an old Relationship (Routledge, 2015), Philosophy and Childhood (Palgrave, 2014), The inventive schoolmaster (Sense, 2015), Thinking childhood and time: Contemporary perspectives
on the politics of education (with B. Weber, Lexington, 2020) and Paulo Freire: A Philosophical Biography (Bloomsburg, 2021).
Sara Stanley is a first year Doctoral Researcher at the University of Oulu under the supervision of Karin Murris. She is an early years educator and philosophicalplay practitioner. She has worked extensively in teacher education and mentoring roles in the UK and South Africa and organised play spaces for young children in camps for displaced people in Northern France. Her role in the DCED project is entangled in research, a literacy lesson, child marine biologists, and the picturebook, How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz. The lesson she shared with grade 2 children was the focus for the edited collection Literacies, Literature and Learning: Reading classrooms Differently. Her current research re-turns to her MEd thesis to re-consider and re-connect with a wooden mouse as an agential cut using posthuman, postqualitative inquiry to think with the phenomena of imagination and play as philosophical pedagogy in the early years. She continues to be inspired and entangled within the DECD reading groups.
Zsuzsa Millei is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at the Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University. Her research addresses child politics by exploring how politics (power, government, nationalism, and ideology) intertwine with childhood and children’s everyday life in child institutions, and more recently reconfigured within the Anthropocene. Her comparative studies of nationalism and explorations of childhood memories of (post)socialist societies use post-qualitative and artistic methods and reveal complex matrices of power and seek to decolonize the research imagination and knowledge production. Her recently edited special issue on ‘Banal and Everyday Nationalisms in children’s mundane and institutional lives’ is published in the Children’s Geographies journal. Her co-edited book ‘Childhood and Schooling in (Post) Socialist Societies: Memories of Everyday Life’ by Palgrave Macmillan and other articles and artistic explorations related to the Re-connect / Re-collect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods project can be found on the website www.coldwarchildhoods.org
Drawing on Feminist New Materialism and Posthumanism, Veronica’s post-qualitative inquiry into obstetric learning has contributed innovative ways of doing research differently. The start of life is an important moment to be considered for childhood education. Veronica is a Research Associate in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of the Western Cape. She currently facilitates student workshops related to women’s health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Health Sciences Faculty at the University of Cape Town. Her publications include a research blog, authored websites, book chapters and journal papers.
I have a Masters in Education (University of Cape Town, 2014), a Bachelor of Arts (UNISA 2004), and a Diploma in Pre-primary Education (Barkly House 1975).
Recent and current activities:
In 2018 I registered an NPO called Africa A+ Schools and work there as the programme director. Our work is in the field of early education in disadvantaged communities. We enable adult and child creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills while realising curriculum outcomes and aims in joyful and meaningful ways. I am currently working with 27 Eastern Cape preschools as part of the five year Kouga Windfarm Trust ECD project.
I taught preschool for 35 years, and then worked for seven years at an NGO, the Early Learning Resource Centre (ELRU). Since 2015 have been an early education consultant. During that time I ran a pilot project, and wrote teacher training materials for the Roger Federer Foundation (Namibian Grade R educators), and UNICEF (play-based training materials for ECD teacher trainers). I also worked as a part-time teacher trainer at Western Cape Education Department, and at the Schools Development Unit, UCT where I created and facilitated a Natural Science course for Foundation Phase teachers). I participated as a researcher in the UCT Lego Children Technology and Play project.
I am a primary school practitioner and NGO worker, involved in everything from literacy projects to pre-service teacher training.
The DECD project offers me the opportunity to sit with, work with and read with academics in the field of education and the philosophy of education in a Southern African context. This takes my approach to a different level, probing my thinking and actions and pushing me to pay attention to the ‘more-than’ and act response-ably.