Unearthing Withling(s): Children, Tweezers, and Worms and the Emergence of Joy and Suffering in a Kindergarten Yard

Year: 2018

Author: Tuure, Tammi, Rautio, Pauliina, Leinonen, Riitta-Marja, Hohti, Riikka

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

While there have been several attempts to account for relationships between humans and nonhuman animals in the social sciences and humanities, the discipline of education has, until recently, steered clear from the so-called animal turn. Drawing on post-anthropocentric theorizations, we introduce a concept of withling(s) and develop it empirically in the context of early years education. In particular, we zoom into one practice of science education at a kindergarten in order to consider what kind of child-animal relations are and might become invoked. Our concept of withling(s) is not an a priori positive relatings, as during the dance between earthworms, pupils, teachers, and technologies, both joy and suffering are invoked simultaneously.