In this paper, we traverse both historical and contemporary discourses pertaining to early childhood care and education in Aotearoa New Zealand, offering a genealogical discursive analysis of assumptions of white superiority. It is proposed that such an analysis delivers a platform from which to launch a project of unmasking the recent and ongoing impact of neoliberal policies in our country. Two key documents are highlighted: the founding document of our nation, Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi, and the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. These documents are unusual both within our country, and internationally, in that they offer a framework for bi-epistemological approaches to both education and social organisation more widely. Revisiting these documents in the context of uncovering the subtle racism that underpins assumptions of white superiority provides a platform for countercolonial, ethical reenvisioning of our educational becomings.
- © 2014 International Institute for Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign