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Teachers’ views of young children’s citizenship in Aotearoa: Discourses and power complexities

Peng Xu and Jenny Ritchie

Children’s citizenship in early childhood education and care is the root of democracy, equity, and sustainability. In Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Whāriki has a strong aspiration for children as competent and active citizens. Early childhood settings are sites where children may have opportunities to act as powerful citizens. Employing Foucault’s theory of discourse and power, this article analyses interviews from 12 kindergarten teachers in Aotearoa. This article reveals multiple discourses underpinning power dynamics regarding children’s citizenship in selected Aotearoa kindergartens and offers insight into children’s citizenship as a power-sharing pedagogy.

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