School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry & School of Education

Reggio Emilia inspired philosophical teacher education: the family (tree)

In this presentation, I give a flavour of how, against the odds, Reggio-Emilia-inspired pedago-gical documentation can work in reconceptualizing environmental education, reconfiguring child subjectivity and provoking an ontological shift from autopoiesis to sympoiesis in teacher education. Working posthuman(e)ly and transdisciplinarily across three foundation phase teacher education courses at a university in South Africa, I situate my teaching within current environmental precarities. I show how a team of teacher educators stirred up trouble in and outside our university classroom and provoked our students to “make kin” with children, each other, other animals, and the more-than-human, but also to stay with the trouble, that is, to learn to be truly present in colonized spaces.

Keywords: posthuman child; Reggio Emilia; autopoiesis; sympoiesis; environmental education; teacher education

Professor Karin Murris

Karin Murris is Professor of Pedagogy and Philosophy at the School of Education, University of Cape Town, and Atkins Visiting Professor in Philosophy at the University of Queensland. She is a teacher educator, philosopher of education and grounded in philosophy as an academic discipline, her main research interests are in intra-active pedagogies such as Philosophy with Children and Reggio Emilia, school ethics and post-qualitative research methods. She is Principal Investigator of the Decolonising Early Childhood Discourses: Critical Posthumanism in Higher Education research project funded by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF):

Her books include: The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks (2016), and (with Joanna Haynes) Literacies, Literature and Learning: Reading Classrooms Differently (2018), Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012). She is co-editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children (2017).

Email address:

For her papers, see:

Seminar detail


Date:        10 August 2018

Time:       1:30pm 2:45pm

       Room: Building 24, Room s304


Dowload as PDF (220KB)


Building 24