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

  • Tuure Tammi
  • Pauliina Rautio
  • Riitta-Marja Leinonen
  • Riikka Hohti
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


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.


Withlings Child-animal relations Early years education Multispecies ethnography Worms 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuure Tammi
    • 1
  • Pauliina Rautio
    • 1
  • Riitta-Marja Leinonen
    • 1
  • Riikka Hohti
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Pauliina Rautio
    • 1
  • Tracy Young
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Swinbourne UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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