Education as Commons, Children as Commoners: The Case Study of the Little Tree Community

A new paper by Yiannis Pechtelidis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis, titled Education as Commons, Children as Commoners: The Case Study of the Little Tree Community, has just been published in Democracy & Education. Here’s the abstract:

This paper presents the emergent paradigm of the “commons” as an alternative value and action system in the field of education, and it critically draws out the implications of the commons for refiguring education and its potential contribution to democratic transformation. The paper delves into an independent pedagogical community, Little Tree, which is active in early childhood education and care, aiming to explore the ways in which children conduct themselves in accordance with the ethics and the logics of the commons and to show how they thereby unsettle the conventional meaning of citizenship. Proceeding from an enlarged notion of the political, the collective action of children and adults on social relations and subjectivities in their ordinary activities and intercourse in the Little Tree community are explored, and the dominant beliefs and ideas about the political ability of children are contested. This enlarged take on the political is crucial to empowering children and to enhancing their participation in public life. This pedagogical community is taken up as an instance of commoning education, that is, of configuring education as a common good, which is collectively governed by its community on terms of freedom, equality, active and creative participation.