Education Research Seminar 24 November 2016

The Education Research Centre and School of Education presented this seminar on 24th November 2016, on Falmer campus:

Reconfiguring Quality: beyond discourses and subjectivities to matter, bodies and becomings in early childhood education

Professor Jayne Osgood, Middlesex University  6-jayne-osgood-photo

The seminar considered how to reconfigure ‘quality’ within the field of early years education and care. It charted the persistence of quality discourses in early childhood education in the English context and the dangers that lurk within them, unpicking aspects of the recent Nutbrown Review: Foundations for Quality (2012) with its focus on professional qualifications and career pathways, which (yet again) calls into question the ‘quality’ of the early childhood workforce. The paper argued that quality and professional subjectivities in early childhood are of the world, not just the person – quality is everywhere and part of everyday life (Haraway, 2008). It worked with some posthumanist concepts to offer new and more generative understandings of ‘quality’ which trace material-semiotic entanglements within early childhood contexts. By moving away from hegemonic framings of ‘quality’ and by inviting an engagement with curiosities, bodies (human, non-human and more than human), and desires, the paper aimed to map new territories about ‘quality’ in the context of the early years and introduce ideas about the qualia of ‘becoming quality’. It did this by working with, through and beyond conventional textual representations and by putting art to work to reach new and more generative understandings of quality.

Dr Jayne Osgood is Professor of Education, Early Years, at Middlesex University. Her present research methodologies and research practices are principally framed by new material feminism and posthumanism. She is developing transdisciplinary theoretical approaches that maintain a concern with issues of social justice, and which critically engage with policy, curricular frameworks and pedagogical approaches. Through her work she seeks to reconfigure understandings of the workforce, families and ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts.

The seminar was attended by 35+ staff and students from the University of Brighton, including from the Early Years courses and teams.

A full recording of Jayne’s paper can be found here:

Jayne’s slides can be found here:


Dr Red Ruby Scarlet’s wonderful poem, Ode to Qualia, can be found here (with apologies that the audio on the seminar recording is so poor):

The words can also be found on her Facebook page: