“That’s Not Fair!”: Concepts of Fairness in New Zealand and Japanese Early Childhood Education



Using an innovative video-based method, this paper uses the lens of “fairness” to interrogate how interactions in early childhood education are cultural acts. Data is taken from ethnographic research carried out at Kaimai Kindergarten in New Zealand, and Oka Kindergarten in Japan (Burke RS: Bodies in context: a comparative study of early childhood education in New Zealand and Japan. Unpublished PhD thesis, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013). (Foucault M: Discipline and punish: The birth of a prison. Penguin, London, 1991) has shown how normalising discourses inform how individuals are classified and judged according to fluid constructs such as “fairness” and “justice”. Drawing on vignettes from fieldwork, this paper argues that interactions between teacher, child, family and centre are culturally constructed and normalised according to dominant discourses in each society.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand

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