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Public defence of doctoral thesis with Matteo Cattaneo

Matteo Cattaneo defends his thesis Woandering towards places of imagination: Reflections through anarchism on the role of educators in Early Childhood Education.

Subject: Education
Research area: Studies in the Educational Sciences
External reviewer: Joanna Haynes, Associate Professor in Education Studies, University of Plymouth.
Language: English

This dissertation proposes a reading into the transformative potential of w/o/a/ndering, anarchism and storytelling in the field of early childhood education.

Through the lenses of autoethnography, the author intertwines personal experiences with theoretical reflections, unravelling the complexities related to contemporary educational landscapes. Drawing inspiration from diverse philosophical traditions, including anarchism and existentialism, the thesis embarks on a journey to reframe educational practices within a socio-political framework.

Central to this exploration is the concept of w/o/a/ndering—a fluid interplay between wonder and wandering, symbolizing an open-ended quest for knowledge and meaning. Rooted in the works of scholars such as Luigina Mortari and Maria Zambrano, w/o/a/ndering offers a pathway to reimagine educational encounters beyond traditional pedagogical paradigms.

The thesis elucidates how storytelling emerges as a potent pedagogical tool within this framework, transcending its conventional role to become a space for encounter, play, and philosophical inquiry. By situating storytelling as a site for anarchic educational practices, the research illuminates its potential to foster genuine connections between educators and children.

Further, the dissertation examines the historical trajectory and contemporary relevance of anarchism in the educational discourse. Using the writing of theorists like Colin Ward, it explores anarchism as a lived experience, challenging entrenched power dynamics and advocating for grassroots resistance within educational settings.

In subsequent chapters, the thesis engages with the contributions of educators such as Paulo Freire, Simon Rodriguez, Walter Kohan and Janusz Korczak, emphasizing the importance of a critical pedagogy in shaping inclusive learning environments. Ultimately, this dissertation seeks to provoke critical reflection on the role of educators in shaping the present of early childhood education. By intertwining theoretical insights with practical examples, it offers a nuanced understanding of educational praxis, inviting educators to reclaim agency and foster meaningful relationships in the pursuit of holistic pedagogical objectives.

Keywords: w/o/a/ndering, anarchism, storytelling, philosophy of education, autoethnography, creative writing, critical thinking, Philosophy with Children, Early Childhood Education.

Tid och plats

20 september 2024, 12:00-16:00


Sodertorn University, room MB503, Moas båge, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Flemingsberg, hitta hit


Arrangeras av

Studies in the Educational Sciences, Sodertorn University



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