Diffracting early childhood teachers’ culture stories

Reimagining methodologies





teachers' cultures, culture stories, early childhood education, diffraction, methodologies


Teachers’ cultures impact on their orientations to diversity and pedagogical practices. However, limited attention is given to early childhood teachers’ cultures in research and practice. Informed by Barad’s notions of diffraction and intra-action, we reimagine research methodologies as critical in shaping research on what culture does or how it works for teachers and their culture stories. Turning and re-turning to diffractively engage with teachers’ culture stories in an exploratory Australian project, this paper pushes the boundaries of conceptualisations of research. It elevates the ways in which research methodologies, like culture, are always re-iterative, contingent and responsive to their relational context.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Clare Bartholomaeus

Clare Bartholomaeus is a Research Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her key research interests include gender, diversity, and children/young people. She has published widely in the areas of education, gender studies, health, and family studies, including the books Children's lifeworlds in a global city: Melbourne (with Nicola Yelland, Springer, in press), and Children's lifeworlds in a global city: Singapore (with Li Mei Johannah Soo, Nanthini Karthikeyan, Kam Ming Lim, and Nicola Yelland, Springer, in press).

ORCID 0000-0001-9843-8390


Allen, L. (2019). Reconceptualizing qualitative research involving young people and sexuality at school. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 19(4), 284-293. https://doi.org/10.1177/1532708618784325

Arndt, S. (2015). Otherness ‘without ostracism or levelling’: Towards fresh orientations to teacher foreigners in early childhood education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 47(9), 883-893.

Arndt, S. (2017). Teacher Otherness in early childhood education: Rethinking uncertainty and difference through a Kristevan lens. Unpublished PhD dissertation, The University of Waikato. https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/11259

Arndt, S. (2018). Early childhood teacher cultural Otherness and belonging. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 19(4), 392-403. https://doi.org/10.1177/1463949118783382

Arndt, S. (2020). Diffracting relationalities in early years pedagogies of care. Global Studies of Childhood, 10(4), 347-357. https://doi.org/10.1177/2043610620974016

Arndt, S., & Bartholomaeus, C. (2022). What about teachers’ cultures? Elevating early childhood teachers’ culture stories through a Kristevan lens. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. https://doi.org/10.1177/14639491221141726

Arndt, S., & Tesar, M. (2016). A more-than-social movement: The post-human condition of quality in the early years. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17(1), 16-25. https://doi.org/10.1177/1463949115627896

Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv12101zq

Barad, K. (2014). Diffracting diffraction: Cutting together-apart. Parallax, 20(3), 168-187. https://doi.org/10.1080/13534645.2014.927623

Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28(3), 801-831. https://doi.org/10.1086/345321

Bennett, J. (2010). Vibrant matter: A political ecology of things. Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822391623

Biesta, G. (2012). Philosophy of education for the public good: Five challenges and an agenda. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44(6). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2011.00783.x

Braidotti, R. (2013). The posthuman. Polity Press.

Ceder, S. (2019). Towards a posthuman theory of educational relationality. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351044196

Cherrington, S., & Shuker, M. J. (2012). Diversity amongst New Zealand early childhood educators. New Zealand Journal of Teachers’ Work, 9(2), 76-94.

Cloonan, A., Fox, B., Ohi, S., & Halse, C. (2017). An analysis of the use of autobiographical narrative for teachers’ intercultural learning. Teaching Education, 28(2), 131-144. https://doi.org/10.1080/10476210.2016.1212005

Department of Education and Training. (2016). Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework: For all children from birth to eight years. East Melbourne.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. (2009). Belonging, being & becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Canberra.

Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1991). What is philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Fox, N. J., & Alldred, P. (2015). New materialist social inquiry: Designs, methods and the research-assemblage. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18(4), 399-414. https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2014.921458

Gerrard, J., Rudolph, S., & Sriprakash, A. (2017). The politics of post-qualitative inquiry: History and power. Qualitative Inquiry, 23(5), 384-394. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800416672694

Gide, S., Wong, S., Press, F., & Davis, B. (2022). Cultural diversity in the Australian early childhood education workforce: What do we know, what don’t we know and why is it important? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 47(1), 48-61. https://doi.org/10.1177/18369391211057292

Guttorm, H., Hohti, R., & Paakkari, A. (2015). “Do the next thing”: An interview with Elizabeth Adams St. Pierre on post-qualitative methodology. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 6(1), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.1421

Haraway, D.J. (2016). Staying with the trouble: making kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822373780

Harré, R. (2000). One thousand years of philosophy: From Ramanuja to Wittgenstein.

Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers.

Jenkins, N., Ritchie, L., & Quinn, S. (2021). From reflection to diffraction: Exploring the use of vignettes within post-humanist and multi-species research. Qualitative Research, 21(6), 975-989. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794120920258

Koro-Ljungberg, M., Carlson, D., Tesar, M., & Anderson, K. (2015). Methodology brut: Philosophy, ecstatic thinking, and some other (unfinished) things. Qualitative Inquiry, 21(7), 612. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800414555070

Kristeva, J. (1991). Strangers to ourselves. Columbia University Press.

Kristeva, J. (1998) The subject in process. In P. Ffrench (Ed.), The Tel Quel reader (pp. 133-178). Routledge.

Kukutai, T. H., & Broman, P. (2016). From colonial categories to local culture: Evolving state practices of ethnic enumeration in Oceania, 1965–2014. Ethnicities, 16(5), 689-711. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468796815603755

Myers, C.Y. (2019). Children and materialities: the force of the more-than-human in children’s classroom lives. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8168-3

Nordstrom, S. N. (2018). Antimethodology: Postqualitative generative conventions. Qualitative Inquiry, 24(3), 215-226. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800417704469

Ohi, S., O’Mara, J., Arber, R., Hartung, C., Shaw, G., & Halse, C. (2019). Interrogating the promise of a whole-school approach to intercultural education: An Australian investigation. European Educational Research Journal, 18(2), 234-247. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474904118796908

Osgood, J. (2012). Narratives from the nursery: Negotiating professional identities in early childhood. Routledge.

Paley, V. G. ([1979] 2000). White teacher (Reprint with a new preface). Harvard University Press. https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674041790

Rahman, K. (2013). Belonging and learning to belong in school: The implications of the hidden curriculum for Indigenous students. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 34(5), 660-672. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2013.728362

Ritchie, J., & Skerrett, M. (2014). Early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, pedagogy and liberation. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137375797

Sauzet, S. (2021). What “what we know” does – a posthuman review methodology. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 12(1), 79-98. https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.4246

Sparrman, A., Hrechaniuk, Y., Smith, O.A., Andersson, K., Annerbäck, J., Arzuk, D., Bodén, L., Blaise, M., Castañeda, C., Coleman, R., Eßer, F., Finn, M., Gustafsson, D., Holmqvist, P., Josefsson, J., Kraftl, P., Lee, N., … & Cardell, D. (2023). Child Studies Multiple – Collaborative play for thinking through theories and methods. Culture Unbound: Journal of current cultural research, 15(1), Linköping University Electronic Press: http://www.cultureunbound.ep.liu.se https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.3529

Shelton, S. A., & Flint, M. A. (2019). The spacetimemattering and Frankenstein-esque nature of interview transcriptions. Qualitative Research Journal, 19(3), 202-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-03-2019-104

St. Pierre, E. A. (2014, 2 December). Post qualitative inquiry. Australian Association of Research in Education, New Zealand Association for Research in Education, Brisbane. https://www.aare.edu.au/assets/documents/Elizabeth-Adams-St.-Pierre-ppt-presentation.pdf

St. Pierre, E. A. (2021). Post qualitative inquiry, the refusal of method, and the risk of the new. Qualitative Inquiry, 27(1), 3-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800419863005

Tesar, M. & Arndt, S. (2016). Vibrancy of childhood things: Philosophy and political ecology of matter. Cultural Studies-Critical Methodologies, Special issue on new empiricisms/new materialisms, 16(2), 193-200. https://doi.org/10.1177/1532708616636144

Tesar, M. (2021). “Philosophy as a Method”: Tracing the histories of intersections of “Philosophy”, “Methodology”, and “Education”. Qualitative Inquiry, 27(5), 544-553. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800420934144




How to Cite

Arndt, S., & Bartholomaeus, C. (2023). Diffracting early childhood teachers’ culture stories: Reimagining methodologies . Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.5237

Cited by