Associate Professor Jayne White

Jayne White
Te Whiringa School of Educational Leadership and Policy
Associate Professor

(+64) 7 838 4466 ext 5353
Doctor of PhilosophyMonash University
Master of Arts (with distinction)Victoria University
PostGraduate Diploma in Education (with distinction)Otago University
Bachelor of EducationOtago University
Diploma of TeachingDunedin College of Education

Jayne has a long-standing interest in education, with particular emphasis on early years pedagogy, spanning over thirty years. Her interest in various aspects of teaching and learning spans the domains of infant and toddler education, educational philosophy, play & creativity, democracy, environmental education, classroom education, assessment and evaluation.  As Associate of the Centre for Global Studies, and a member of the Early Years Research Centre, Jayne's work focuses on the complex processes and practices of meaning-making in contemporary 'open' societies. She engages with a variety of methods to support her work, including the extensive and original use of 'polyphonic video' - and other means of visual ethnography, which emphasise 'seeing' as an interpretative event of 'between-ness'. At the heart of her practice lies a strong emphasis on dialogic pedagogy, and the ways in which teachers can best engage within complex learning relationships - regardless of the age of the learner. To this end, Jayne explores philosophical ideas and their potential contribution to pedagogy. 

Jayne is based on the Tauranga campus of University of Waikato, where she works with undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as the wider community. 

As co-editor of two international educational journals, and a member of the editorial for several others, Jayne plays a prominent role in supporting cutting edge scholarship in the wider domain of education. 

She plays an active and varied role in research -engaging in empirical projects that bring these ideas to life in her own fields.

Jayne is concurrently working on the following projects:

1. Visual pedagogies: Following her work with polyphonic footage and infants, Jayne has recently taken on the role as co-Editor of a new and world-first Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy

2. Infants in Transition: An international project in collaboration with University of Strathclyde, Scotland, Brazil, Finland, US, Samoa and Australia to investigate the intersubjective experience of infants as they transition into early childhood education settings into and across ECE sites. 

3. "CUPID down under": A cross-institutional Australasian study of teacher education in relation to infant and toddler pedagogy. Based on the USA CUPID study currently underway, this investigation is a collaboration of Universities for understanding the pedagogies of infant-toddler development, led by Jayne and Dr Mira Peter (WMIER)

4. Social resilience at age two: Working with data from the Growing Up in New Zealand Project Jayne, with Dr Mira Peter, Dr Rebecca Sargisson, Dr Polly Atatoa-Carr, Dr Linda Mitchell and Bridgette Redder is planning a project to highlight relationships between mother emotional well-being and infant social competency by age two, highlighting support services that alter trajectories.

4. With Professor Carmen Dalli, Jayne is now co-editor of a new Springer book series titled "Cross-disciplinary insights and innovations for educational research with very young children: Policy and pedagogy with under three year olds". This exciting series will generate books on associated topics drawing from broad fields of education, psychology, philosophy and health. The first book is the series (of the same title), co-edited with Carmen, is due for publication at the end of this year.


5. Jayne Associate Director for the Centre of Global Studies and recently hosted a seminar day in Tauranga "Global Childhoods". She is also engaged in a number of related projects.

6. Jayne is involved in the establishment of WMIER Video Lab and looks forward to working with students and members of the community to explore pedagogies using video as a central source and context for investigation. 

Jayne has contributed to several New Zealand curriculum and policy developments, most recently serving on the Infant and Toddler Advisory Group (2012). She was the lead writer for the ECE Self-review Guidelines as part of a Ministry of Education contract and has delivered professional development programmes across a variety of contexts. Jayne’s contribution on the New Zealand Play Project played a significant role is resurrecting the language and subsequent critique of play to the forefront of ECE pedagogy. Now serving on editorial boards, as a reviewer for several journals (including Early Childhood Quarterley, Mind, Culture and Activity, Knowledge Cultures, Journal of Dialogic Pedagogy and Educational Philosophy and Theory) and as a keen author herself, Jayne’s work expands on current sociocultural theories by introducing new provocations and possibilities for practice. Her most recent edited work is as follows:



Jayne is currently co-supervising Richard Heraud's PhD thesis on political subjectivity and innovation; Barnaby Pace's PhD thesis on Pirsig's metaphysical approach to quality; Robert Stratford's PhD thesis on Higher Education and the global environment; Margaret Lyall's PhD thesis on the topic of Gender and ECE; Rene Novak on the topic of open curriculum in ECE and is Chief Supervisor for Bridgette Redder's PhD thesis on Teacher self-study with infants.

In addition Jayne is currently sole supervising WMIER scholar Ronal Morgan (international learner engagement); Diana Cruse (whanau engagement in ECE), Heather Vail (pedagogies for international student success), Anne-Marie Simon (transformative learning using video) - all Masters theses - and Beth Huddleston (ECE spirituality) as a one paper dissertation. 

Completed Masters theses that Jayne has supervised over the past 4 years:

- Hunhee (Sally) Hunger on cultural identity for Korean immigrants in education (2015). Gained with distinction.

- Meripa Toso's MEd dissertation on the spirit of the va in early childhood education (2015). 

- Bridgette Redder's MEd thesis on infant and peer relationships in curriculum (2014). Gained with distinction.

- Margaret Lyall's MEd thesis on gender and early childhood education (2013). Gained with distinction.

- Angelena Davies MEd thesis on children using appreciative inquiry (2013). Gained with distinction.

Prospective students are very welcome to approach Jayne - particularly those who have an interest in the intersections between philosophy and the early years; infants and toddlers in out of home settings; creativity and play; semiotics and young children; hermeneutics and processes of meaning making; visual ethnography; and/or dialogic approaches (methodologies) in education - across all domains.

 Jayne is a Postgraduate Programme Advisor for Tauranga and welcomes all inquiries.


Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy (with Prof. Michael Peters)

International Journal of Early Childhood (IJEC)

Jayne is also a reviewer for Educational Philosophy & Theory, Knowledge CulturesOpen Review of Educational Research, and several early years journals.


Past National President; Past branch President; Life member Waikato/Bay of Plenty - L'organisation Pour L'Mondiale L'Prescholaire (OMEP)

Fellow: Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)

Recent books:

White, E.J. (2016). Introducing dialogic pedagogy: Provocations for the early years, Routledge: London.

This book brings the concepts of dialogism, inspired by the philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin and others, to bear on early years pedagogy. This book is essentially about teaching and learning and aims to introduce early years teachers and others to a new movement in teaching practice called “dialogic pedagogy”. This term has recently been developed from early philosophical inspiration by educational researchers across the world in domains such as music, art, English and political studies (White & Peters, 2011). The purpose of this book is to consider the principles of dialogic pedagogy, and their application, in early years studies specifically. A video companion accompanies this text. 


Book cover


White, E.J. & Peters, M.A. (eds.) (2011). Bakhtinian Pedagogy: Opportunities and challenges for research, policy and practice in education across the globe. Peter Lang: New York.

This collection of essays brings Bakhtinian ideas into dialogue with educational practice across cultural and pedagogical boundaries. These encounters offer fresh perspectives on contemporary issues in education, and consider pedagogical responses that are framed within a dialogic imperative. The book also pioneers an important discussion about the place of the Bakhtin Circle in educational philosophy today. Drawing on the historical and contemporary scholarship that has already taken place in education to date, the book emphasizes the living nature of language as intentional acts that take place within learning relationships. Consideration is given to the wider contexts in which pedagogy takes place, and shifts the role of the teacher as expert transmitter of knowledge to dialogic partner in learning. Bakhtinian Pedagogy is particularly suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education courses that focus on pedagogical studies in early childhood, primary, secondary, and tertiary learning. It is also a suitable text for educational philosophy students at postgraduate level.


Johansson, E. & White, E.J. (eds.). (2011). Educational research with our youngest: Voices of infants and toddlers. Springer: Dordrecht

Interpreting the voices of under three year olds is central to early childhood education. Yet entering into their life-worlds is fraught with challenges and unrealised possibilities. This ground-breaking book generates a dialogue about the multiple ways researchers have exploited a range of methods for approaching, accessing, understanding and interpreting infant voice. Each chapter explores the kinds of ethical considerations and dilemmas that may arise in this process. Represented by a chorus of international voices (researchers, children, teachers and parents) the books adds to discussions about various circumstances, dilemmas and possibilities involved in doing research with our youngest.

Selected papers 

White, E.J. (2016). More than meets the 'I': A polyphonic approach to dialogic meaning-making. Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy

White, E.J. & Peters, M.A. (2016). Educational Philosophy and Theory. 

White, E.J. (2015). A philosophy of seeing: The work of the eye/’I’ in early years educational practice. Journal of Philosophy of Education. Details to be added

White, (2015) Red-flagging who? Combative agendas concerning infants in New Zealand ECE.New Zealand Journal of Teachers Work

White, E.J., Redder, B. & Peter, M. (2015).The Work of the Eye in Infant Pedagogy: A Dialogic Encounter of ‘Seeing’ in an Education and Care Setting.International Journal of Early Childhood, 47, (2).

White, E.J. & Redder, B. (2015). Proximity with under two-year-olds in early childhood education: A silent pedagogical encounter. Early Education and Care, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2015.1028386

White, E.J. (2015). Seeing is believing?: Insights from young children in nature, International Journal of Early Childhood.

White, E.J., Peer, M. & Redder, B. (2015). Infant-teacher dialogues: A pedagogical imperative?, Early Childhood Quarterly, 30. 160-173.

White, E.J. (2015). Seeing is believing?: Insights from young children in nature, International Journal of Early Childhood.

Marjanovic-Shane, A. & White, E.J. (2014). When the footlights are off: A Bakhtinian analysis of play as postopok. International Journal of Play. 3, (2), doi: 10.1080/21594937.2014.931686.

White, E.J. & Pramling-Samuelsson, I. (2014). Global crisis: Local reality – An international analysis of ‘crisis’ in the early years. Educational Philosophy and Theory.

White, E.J., Redder, B. & Peter, M. (2014). To ‘be’ or not to ‘be’: Is that the question in infant play? The First Years: Nga Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant ad Toddler Education,15, (2), 16-19.

White, E. J. (2014). Chronotope spaces in ECE: A dialogic encounter with people, places and things. In J. Sumsion & L. Harrison (Eds.), The Lived spaces of infant and toddler settings. Dordecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

White, E.J. (2013). Circles, borders and chronotope: Education at the boundary? Knowledge Cultures, 1, (2), 25-32, ISSN 2327-5731

White, E.J. (2013). 'Are you 'avin a laff?': A pedagogical response to Bakhtinian carnivalesque in early childhood education, Educational Philosophy and Theory,

Farquhar, S. & White, E.J. (2013). Philosophy and pedagogy of early childhood education, Educational Philosophy andTheory,

White, E.J. & Mika, C. (2013). Coming of age?: Infants and toddlers in curriculum. In, J. Nuttall (Ed.). Weaving Te Whariki (2nd Ed.), Wellington: NZCER. pp 93-115.

Kelly, J. & White, E.J. (2013). The Ngahere Project: Teaching and learning possibilities in nature settings, Wilf Malcolm Institute: University of Waikato.

White, E.J. (2012). Cry, baby, cry: A dialogic response to emotion. Mind, Culture and Activity, 20. (1), 62-78.

Kelly, J. & White, E.J. (2012). Pedagogy beyond the gate: The Ngahere Project, Early Childhood Folio, 16 (2), 2-11.

White, E. J. (2012, March/April). At the ”˜heart’ of pedagogy: Aesthetic love. Paper presented to mini-Bakhtinian conference Promises and Challenges of the Bakhtinian Pedagogy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

White, E J. (2011). "Now you see me, now you don't": Dialogic loopholes in authorship activity with the very young. Psychology Research. 1. (6). 377-452.

White, E J. (2011). Bakhtinian dialogic and Vygotskian dialectic: Compatabilities and contradictions in the classroom?. Educational Philosophy and Theory. v_online, Blackwell Publishing, doi: 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2011.00814.x, 2011. p.1-17.

White, E J. (2011). Dust under the whāriki: Embracing the messiness of curriculum. Early Childhood Folio. v15, NZCER Press. p.2-6.

White J, Kelly, J. (2011) Nachhaltigkeitslücken in der frühkindlichen erziehung - paradigmatischer und pädagogischer wandel in Aoteatoa Neuseeland?. In N. Franke & C. Mika (ed/s)In Die Natur - Naturphilosophie und naturpoetik in interkultureller perspektive. Goethe Institut, New Zealand,  p.109-141.

White, E J. (2011). Response to the school of the dialogue of cultures as a dialogic pedagogy. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology. v49, no2, M. E. Sharpe Inc. p.79-84.

Dalli, C., White, E.J., Rockel, J & Duhn, I (with E. Buchanan, S. Davidson, S. Ganly, L. Kus & B. Wang). (2011) Quality early childhood education for under-two-year-olds: What should it look like? A literature review. Report to Ministry of Education.

White J. (2010). Data maze deciphered. New Zealand Education Review. 1, pp 30-31

Rosewarne, S, White, E J, Wright, L. Exploring transition through biographical memory: Considerations for parents and teachers in early childhood education. Australian Journal of Early Childhood. v35, no3, Early Childhood Australia, 2010. p.24-32. Educational Media, 2010. p.28-29

White, E J. Polyphonic Portrayals: A Dostoevskian dream or a researcher’s reality?. Proceedings of the Second International Interdisciplinary Conference on Perspectives and Limits of Dialogism in Mikhail Bakhtin. Stockholm University, Stockholm University, Sweden; 3-5 June 2009 2010. p.87-96.

White,E.J. Reading toddlers: Noticing and recognising more, Web-based article (Ministry of Education Early Chidhood Education website, 2010), Opp.

Stover, S. White, E.J., Rockel. J. & Toso, M. (2010). Hunting the snark: The elusive nature of play. The First Years: Ngā Tau Tuatahi. 1, The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education.

White, E.J. (2009). Assessment in New Zealand Early Childhood Education: A Bakhtinian analysis of toddler metaphoricity, Unpublished doctoral thesis. Monash University: Melbourne, Australia

White, E. J (2009). A Bakhtinian homecoming: operationalizing dialogism in the context of an early childhood centre in Wellington, New Zealand. Journal of Early Childhood Research. v7, no3, UK, Sage, p.299-323.”¨

White J, Ellis F, O'Malley A, Rockel J, Stover S, Toso M, (2008) 'Play and learning in Aotearoa/New Zealand early childhood education', in Play and learning in early childhood settings: international perspectives, edited by I. Pramling Samuelsson & M. Fleer (Berlin, Springer), pp. 19-50.”¨

White J, 'Authoring the metaphoric act: the ethical encounter of 'teaching' young children in diialogic activity', International interdisciplinary conference: perspectives and limits of dialogism in Mikhail Bakhtin: implications in psychology, art, education and culture (Crete, May 2007)

White, E J. Authoring the metaphoric act: the ethical encounter of 'teaching' young children in dialogic activity. International Interdisciplinary Conference. University Campus Rethymnon, Crete, Greece; 25-27 May 2007.r, 2007. p.93-105.

White J, O'Malley A, Toso M, Rockel J, Stover S, Ellis F, 'A contemporary glimpse of play and learning in Aotearoa New Zealand',International Journal of Early Childhood, 39, 1 (2007), pp. 93-105.Ӭ

White, J, Nuttall, J. (2007). Expanding intersubjectivity: The potential of Bakhtinian dialogism to inform narrative assessment in early childhood. The First Years: Ngā Tau Tuatahi. v9, no1, The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education, 2007. p.21-25.

White, J, Rockel, J, Toso, M. (2007) Reflecting on a research project on play through sociocultural eyes: "Eureka" moments.Journal of Australian Research in Early Childhood Education. v14, no2, Monash University,. p.47-60.

White, E J.  (2007). Systematic inquiry as evaluative activity. Self-review in early childhood education. Early Education. v42, Spring/Summer. Auckland, NZ, Early Education, AUT University, p.26-29.