A Genealogy of Becoming (and Being) in the First 1000 Days

Part of the Policy and Pedagogy with Under-three Year Olds: Cross-disciplinary Insights and Innovations book series (POPED, volume 2)


This chapter sets the scene for an emphasis on ‘becoming’ for our youngest children living in a twenty-first-century global world. Taking the view that becoming (or Bildung) is now viewed as central to teaching and learning, a genealogy (Foucault M. The order of discourse. In Young R (ed) Untying the text: a post-structuralist reader. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, pp 51–78, 1981) of its positioning in ECE is offered. Common philosophical and social beliefs concerning infant and toddler ‘becoming’ will be examined with consideration to the time and space of their orientation – historically, geographically and, by association, ideologically. In taking this approach, the chapter will then attempt to relocate ‘becoming’ through a contemplation of the conditions of its meaning in a globalised contemporary world. Through such means the chapter will speculate on what becoming offers (and simultaneously denies) the infant subject as he or she is located within pedagogical practice today.


  1. Bakhtin, M. M. (1990). Art and answerability (K. Brostrom, Trans.). Austin, TX: University of Texas.Google Scholar
  2. Baldick, R., Raddice, B., &, Jones, C. A. (1976). Plato: The republic (D. Lee, Trans.). 2nd Ed. Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  3. Ball, S. (1990). Foucault and education: Disciplines and knowledge. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Biesta, G. J. (2017). The rediscovery of teaching. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boldt, G. (2017). Working with Deleuze and Guattari. In L. E. Cohen & S. Waite-Stupiansky (Eds.), Theories of early childhood education: Developmental, behaviourist and critical. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Bowers, C. (2007). Philosophy, language, and the titanic mind-set. Language & Ecology, 2(1), 1–16.Google Scholar
  7. Braidotti, R. (2016). Posthuman critical theory. In D. Banerji & M. R. Paranjape (Eds.), Critical posthumanism and planetary futures. New Delhi, India: Springer. Scholar
  8. Cheeseman, S., Press, F., & Sumsion, F. (2015). An encounter with the ‘sayings’ of curriculum: Levinas and the formalization of infants’ learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 47(8), 822–832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davies, B. (2014). Listening to children: Being and becoming. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deleuze, G., & Guttari, F. (1980/1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minneapolis Press.Google Scholar
  11. Erikson, E. H. (1950/1963). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  12. Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison (A. Sheridan, Trans.). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  13. Foucault, M. (1981). The order of discourse. In R. Young (Ed.), Untying the text: A post-structuralist reader (pp. 51–78). London, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  14. Foucault, M. (1982). The subject and power. Critical Inquiry, 8(4), 777–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goethe, J. W. (1989). Wilhelm Meister’s apprenticeship. In E. A. Blackall (Ed.), Goethe: The collected works. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Graham, D. (2011). Heraclitus. In Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition),
  17. Hegel, (1977). Phenomenology of Spirit [Phänomenologie des Geistes] (A. V. Miller, Trans.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Heidegger, M. (1938/1977). The question concerning technology. In The question concerning technology and other essays. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  19. Heidegger, M. (1967). Being and time (J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson, Trans.). Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. Heidegger, M. (1971). Poetry, language, thought (A. Hofstadter, Trans.). New York: Perennial Classics.Google Scholar
  21. Irigaray, L. (1997). Feminist philosophy and the philosophy of feminism: Irigaray and the history of western metaphysics. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. Scholar
  22. Kant, I. (1948). The moral law: Groundwork of the metaphysic of morals (H. J. Paton, Trans.) London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Kierkegaard, S. (1845). Stages on life’s way (W. Lowrie, Trans.). Denmark: Bianco Luno Press.Google Scholar
  24. Mika, C. (2014). The enowning of thought and whakapapa: Heidegger’s fourfold. Review of Contemporary Philosophy, 13, 48–60.Google Scholar
  25. Mika, C. (2015a). The thing’s revelation: Māori philosophical research. Waikato Journal of Education, 20(2), 61–68. Scholar
  26. Mika, C. (2015b). Thereness: Implications for Heidegger’s ‘presence’ for Māori. AlterNative, 11(1), 3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mika, C. (2017). Indigenous education and the metaphysics of presence: A worlded philosophy. Oxon, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Morawski, S. (1974). Inquiries into the fundamentals of aesthetics. Cambridge, MA: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  29. Moss, P., & Urban, M. (2017). The organisation for economic co-operation and development’s international early learning study: What happened next. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 18(2), 250–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nietzche, F. (1954). The portable Nietzsche. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  31. Novalis. (1960). Die Lehrlinge zu Sais. In P. Kluckhohn & R. Samuel (Eds.), Schriften: Das dichterische Werk (Vol. 1, pp. 71–111). Stuttgart, Deutschland: W. Kohlhammer.Google Scholar
  32. Palmer, J. (2012). Parmenides. In Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2012 Edition),
  33. Piaget, J. (1953). The origins of intelligence in children. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  34. Richardson, W. (2003). Heidegger: Through phenomenology to thought. New York: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Stratigos, T., Bradley, B., & Sumsion, J. (2014). Infants, family day care and the politics of belonging. International Journal of Early Childhood, 46(2), 171–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stumpf, S. E. (1966). Socrates to Sartre: A history of philosophy. New York: McCraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  37. White, E. J. (2016). A philosophy of seeing: The work of the eye/‘I’ in early years educational practice. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 50(3), 474–489. Scholar
  38. White, E. J., & Odegaard, E. (2016). Bildungsroman and the early years. In M. Peters (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational philosophy and theory. Singapore, Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  39. White, J., & Mika, C. (2013). Coming of age? Infants and toddlers in curriculum. In J. Nuttall (Ed.), Weaving Te Whāriki. Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER.Google Scholar
  40. Young, J. (2010). Heidegger, philosophy, Nazism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations