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Associate Professor Alex Gunn

Associate Dean (Teacher Education), Associate Professor
DipTchg(ECE) BEd MA EdD

Dunedin Campus
Tel +64 3 479 4261
Email alex.gunn@otago.ac.nz

Biography


After teaching in urban and rural not-for-profit and community based early childhood settings with children aged between birth and school-age, I took a position in early childhood teacher education in Christchurch. I moved to my position at the University of Otago College of Education in 2011 where I teach and research in early childhood education, inclusive education, teacher education, and assessment.   I am interested in teachers' beliefs and practices, and in how the things we do in education come to reflect and (re)produce certain norms.  Furthermore, I am intrigued by how teachers take up normative understandings in ways that enable and constrain particular subjects, understandings, and ideas.

Teaching Areas 

  • Teacher education
  • Inclusive education (difference, diversity, and social justice in early childhood education)
  • Contemporary views on children as learners
  • Gender and education
  • Curriculum and pedagogy in early childhood education
  • Professional practices of teaching
  • Assessment education
  • Qualitative research design and implementation

Research Interests

  • Teacher education
  • Early childhood education (various aspects, e.g., gender, assessment, inclusion, teachers' practices, policy)
  • Inclusive education and social justice (particularly queer concerns and heteronormativity)
  • Educational assessment (sociocultural and narrative approaches)

Key Methodologies and Methods

  • Qualitative approaches (nVivo user)
  • Ethnography and genealogy
  • Queer theory
  • Practitioner research
  • Foucaultian discourse analysis
  • Interview and focus group methods
  • Cultural historical research and activity theory
  • Questionnaire method

Currently supervising students in the areas of:

  • Teacher education (international perspectives and issues)
  • Home school partnerships for children in residential care
  • Inclusive early childhood education (disability focus)
  • Inclusive early childhood education (refugee/immigrant focus)
  • Constructions of gifted and talented learners in New Zealand education

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Publications

Gunn, A. C., & Nuttall, J. (Eds.). (2019). Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice (3rd ed.). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research, 253p.

Gunn, A. C. (2019). Foucauldian discourse analysis and early childhood education. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.333

Gunn, A. C. (2019). Initial teacher education in early childhood education (New Zealand). In Bloomsbury education & childhood Studies. London, UK: Bloomsbury. doi: 10.5040/9781350996274.0016

Gunn, A. C., & Reeves, D. (2019). Click, drag, drop, resize, omit: An activity theory view of how technology is mediating the production of learning in early childhood education. In A. C. Gunn & J. Nuttall (Eds.), Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice. (3rd ed.) (pp. 149-161). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

Gunn, A. C., & Nuttall, J. (2019). Introduction. In A. C. Gunn & J. Nuttall (Eds.), Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice. (3rd ed.) (pp. 1-3). Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER. [Contribution].

Edited Book - Research

Gunn, A. C., & Nuttall, J. (Eds.). (2019). Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice (3rd ed.). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research, 253p.

Gunn, A. C., & Hruska, C. A. (Eds.). (2017). Interactions in early childhood education: Recent research and emergent concepts. Singapore: Springer, 170p. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-4879-1

Gunn, A. C., & Smith, L. A. (Eds.). (2015). Sexual cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand education. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press, 256p.

Gordon-Burns, D., Gunn, A. C., Purdue, K., & Surtees, N. (Eds.). (2012). Te Aotūroa Tātaki: Inclusive early childhood education: Perspectives on inclusion, social justice and equity from Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington, NZ: NZCER Press, 206p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Gunn, A. C. (2019). Foucauldian discourse analysis and early childhood education. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.333

Gunn, A. C., & Reeves, D. (2019). Click, drag, drop, resize, omit: An activity theory view of how technology is mediating the production of learning in early childhood education. In A. C. Gunn & J. Nuttall (Eds.), Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice. (3rd ed.) (pp. 149-161). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

Gunn, A. C. (2019). Initial teacher education in early childhood education (New Zealand). In Bloomsbury education & childhood Studies. London, UK: Bloomsbury. doi: 10.5040/9781350996274.0016

Hruska, C. A., & Gunn, A. C. (2017). Interactions and learning: Overview and introduction. In A. C. Gunn & C. A. Hruska (Eds.), Interactions in early childhood education: Recent research and emergent concepts. (pp. 1-6). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-4879-1

Gunn, A. C. (2017). Shaping gender relations in early childhood education: Children's interactions and learning about gender. In A. C. Gunn & C. A. Hruska (Eds.), Interactions in early childhood education: Recent research and emergent concepts. (pp. 69-80). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-4879-1

Berg, D. A. G., Gunn, A. C., Hill, M. F., & Haigh, M. (2017). Building professionals and elevating the profession? The work of university-based initial teacher educators in Aotearoa New Zealand. In P. M. Bamber & J. C. Moore (Eds.), Teacher education in challenging times: Lessons for professionalism, partnership and practice. (pp. 29-40). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Bateman, A., Carr, M., & Gunn, A. C. (2017). Children's use of objects in their storytelling. In A. C. Gunn & C. A. Hruska (Eds.), Interactions in early childhood education: Recent research and emergent concepts. (pp. 37-53). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-4879-1

Gunn, A. C., & Gasson, N. R. (2017). The spectre of standards in Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood education and care. In M. Li, J. L. Fox & S. Grieshaber (Eds.), Contemporary issues and challenge in early childhood education in the Asia-Pacific region. (pp. 165-179). Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-2207-4

Gunn, A. C. (2017). Using insights from interactions research to improve policy and practice in early childhood education. In A. C. Gunn & C. A. Hruska (Eds.), Interactions in early childhood education: Recent research and emergent concepts. (pp. 161-170). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-4879-1

Gunn, A. C. (2015). The potential of queer theorising in early childhood education: Disrupting heteronormativity and practising for inclusion. In A. C. Gunn & L. A. Smith (Eds.), Sexual cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand education. (pp. 21-34). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Gunn, A. C., & Smith, L. A. (2015). Introduction. In A. C. Gunn & L. A. Smith (Eds.), Sexual cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand education. (pp. 9-20). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Smith, L. A., & Gunn, A. C. (2015). Challenging the pervasiveness of heteronormativity. In A. C. Gunn & L. A. Smith (Eds.), Sexual cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand education. (pp. 209-239). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Gordon-Burns, D., Gunn, A. C., Purdue, K., & Surtees, N. (2012). Puzzling over inclusion: Concluding remarks. In D. Gordon-Burns, A. C. Gunn, K. Purdue & N. Surtees (Eds.), Te Aotūroa Tātaki: Inclusive early childhood education: Perspectives on inclusion, social justice and equity from Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 175-191). Wellington, NZ: NZCER.

Gordon-Burns, D., Gunn, A. C., Purdue, K., & Surtees, N. (2012). Introduction: Thinking differently about early childhood inclusive education in Aotearoa New Zealand. In D. Gordon-Burns, A. C. Gunn, K. Purdue & N. Surtees (Eds.), Te Aotūroa Tātaki: Inclusive early childhood education: Perspectives on inclusion, social justice and equity from Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 1-20). Wellington, NZ: NZCER.

Gunn, A. C. (2012). The construction of disadvantage for boys and men in Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood education: The gender debates continue. In D. Gordon-Burns, A. C. Gunn, K. Purdue & N. Surtees (Eds.), Te Aotūroa Tātaki: Inclusive early childhood education: Perspectives on inclusion, social justice and equity from Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 115-134). Wellington, NZ: NZCER.

Terreni, L., Gunn, A., Kelly, J., & Surtees, N. (2010). In and out of the closet: Successes and challenges experienced by gay- and lesbian-headed families in their interactions with the education system in New Zealand. In V. Green & S. Cherrington (Eds.), Delving into diversity: An international exploration of issues of diversity in education. (pp. 151-161). New York: Nova Science.

Davis, K., Gunn, A., Purdue, K., & Smith, K. (2007). Forging ahead: Moving towards inclusive and anti-discriminatory education. In L. Keesing-Styles & H. Hedges (Eds.), Theorising early childhood practice: Emerging dialogues. (pp. 99-120). Castle Hill, Australia: Pademelon.

Gunn, A., & MacNaughton, G. (2007). Boys and boyhoods: The problems and possibilities of equity and gender diversity in early childhood settings. In L. Keesing-Styles & H. Hedges (Eds.), Theorising early childhood practice: Emerging dialogues. (pp. 121-136). Castle Hill, Australia: Pademelon.

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Chapter in Book - Other

Gunn, A. C., & Nuttall, J. (2019). Introduction. In A. C. Gunn & J. Nuttall (Eds.), Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice. (3rd ed.) (pp. 1-3). Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER. [Contribution].

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Journal - Research Article

Agnew, S., & Gunn, A. C. (2019). Students’ engagement with alternative discursive construction of menstruation. Health Education Journal, 78(6), 670-680. doi: 10.1177/0017896919835862

Kroeger, J., Recker, A. E., & Gunn, A. C. (2019). Tate and the pink coat: Exploring gender and enacting anti-bias principles. Young Children, 74(1), 83-92.

Reese, E., Gunn, A., Bateman, A., & Carr, M. (2019). Teacher-child talk about learning stories in New Zealand: A strategy for eliciting children’s complex language. Early Years. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/09575146.2019.1621804

Gunn, A., & Surtees, N. (2019). "Go NZ YAS!!": Children's news media text as curriculum resources in Aotearoa New Zealand. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 20(4), 337-349. doi: 10.1177/1463949119888496

Bissenden, M., & Gunn, A. C. (2017). Consent, assent and dissent: A case study of one child's understanding of research. Early Childhood Folio, 21(1), 11-15. doi: 10.18296/ecf.0035

Gunn, A. C., Hill, M. F., Berg, D., & Haigh, M. (2016). The changing work of teacher educators in Aotearoa New Zealand: A view through activity theory. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 44(4), 306-319. doi: 10.1080/1359866X.2016.1174815

Berg, D. A. G., Gunn, A. C., Hill, M. F., & Haigh, M. (2016). Research in the work of New Zealand teacher educators: A cultural-historical activity theory perspective. Higher Education Research & Development, 35(6), 1125-1138. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2016.1149694

van der Meer, J., Berg, D., Smith, J., Gunn, A., & Anakin, M. (2015). Shorter is better: Findings of a bite-size mobile learning’ pilot project. Creative Education, 6(3), 273-282. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.63026

Gunn, A. C., Berg, D., Hill, M. F., & Haigh, M. (2015). Constructing the academic category of teacher educator in universities' recruitment processes in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Journal of Education for Teaching, 41(3), 307-320. doi: 10.1080/02607476.2015.1041288

Gunn, A. C. (2015). Research work as curriculum work in New Zealand early childhood settings: What should be taught and learned? Journal of Pedagogy, 6(2), 103-117. doi: 10.1515/jped-2015-0016

Gunn, A. C. (2014). The ECE SIG: A personal history of its origins, intentions and necessity. Early Education, 55, 9-11.

Hill, M., Gunn, A., Cowie, B., Smith, L. F., & Gilmore, A. (2014). Preparing primary and early childhood initial teacher education students to use assessment in teaching. Assessment Matters, 7, 4-23.

Gunn, A. C., & Gilmore, A. (2014). Early childhood initial teacher education students' learning about assessment. Assessment Matters, 7, 24-38.

Gunn, A. C., & Surtees, N. (2011). Matching parents' efforts: How teachers can resist heteronormativity in early education settings. Early Childhood Folio, 15(1), 27-31.

Gunn, A. C. (2011). Even if you say it three ways, it still doesn’t mean it’s true: The pervasiveness of heteronormativity in early childhood education. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9(3), 280-290. doi: 10.1177/1476718X11398567

Gunn, A. C., & de Vocht van Alphen, L. (2011). Seeking social justice and equity through narrative assessment in early childhood education. International Journal of Equity & Innovation in Early Childhood, 9(1), 31-43.

Surtees, N., & Gunn, A. C. (2010). (Re)marking heteronormativity: Resisting practices in early childhood education contexts. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 35(1), 42-47.

Gunn, A. C. (2009). "But who are the parents?": Examining heteronormative discourses in New Zealand government early childhood reports and policy. Early Childhood Folio, 13, 27-31.

Purdue, K., Gordon-Burns, D., Gunn, A., Madden, B., & Surtees, N. (2009). Supporting inclusion in early childhood settings: Some possibilities and problems for teacher education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13(8), 805-815. doi: 10.1080/13603110802110743

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Journal - Research Other

Gaches, S., & Gunn, A. C. (2019). (New) critical readings of Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood policy and practice. International Critical Childhood Policy Studies, 7(1), 1-5. [Editorial].

Cooper, B., Sexton, S., & Gunn, A. C. (2017). Introduction to the Special Issue: How to educate a nation's teachers. Debating quality initial teacher education for today and for the future. Waikato Journal of Education, 22(3), 3-7. doi: 10.15663/wje.v22i3.580

Gunn, A. C. (2016). [Review of the book Methodologies for researching cultural diversity in education: International perspectives]. British Journal of Educational Studies, 64(1), 119-122. doi: 10.1080/00071005.2015.1104870

Gunn, A. C. (2013). [Review of the book Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice]. Curriculum Matters, 9, 175-179. [Book Review].

Gunn, A. (2013). [Review of the book Learning stories: Constructing learner identities in early education]. Assessment Matters, 5, 143-149. [Book Review].

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Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Gunn, A. (2017). 'Watch this space': Qualification developments in initial teacher education and ECE. Early Education, 61, 3-4. [Editorial].

Gunn, A. (2011). Learning outcomes in ECE. Iti Rearea, 28, 3.

Gunn, A. (2011). Letter from Otautahi Christchurch, April 25, 2011. Early Education, 49, 4.

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