Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2020, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 42-56.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2020.03.005

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Anticipating Other Worlds, Animating Our Selves: An Invitation to Comparative Education

Iveta Silova   

  1. Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, Forest Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287-1611, USA
  • Published:2020-03-11

Abstract: This article aims to reimagine education – and our selves – within the context of multiple, more-than-human worlds where everything and everyone (both human and non-human) are deeply interrelated. The aim is achieved by purposefully pursuing two speculative thought experiments – an epistemological and an ontological “regressions” – to connect and bring into conversation seemingly unrelated knowledge systems across space and time – European “paganism” and 13th century Japanese Buddhism, as well as excerpts from indigenous, ecofeminist, and decolonial scholarship. These speculative thought experiments are conducted through a series of “and if” questions around education and schooling, occasionally interrupted by shadows of butterflies fluttering at the edge of extinction. The article proposes to radically reimagine education in two ways. First, it invites readers to reconfigure education as a “connective tissue” between different worlds, bringing together rather than differentiating, ranking, and hierarchizing them. Second, it proposes to reframe education as an opportunity to learn how to anticipate and animate our ongoing entanglement with more-than-human worlds. This entails reframing learning as encountering and encountering as learning through comparison “otherwise”. Using the concept of “metamorphosis” as an antidote to Western metaphysics, the article re-situates education within a wider set of possibilities in relation to the taken-for-granted ways of knowing and being, as well as the notions of space and time.

Key words: border thinking, comparative education, more-than-human worlds, pluriverse, SF