Wonder and education: On the educational importance of contemplative wonder

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Many people, whether educators or not, will agree that an education that does not inspire wonder is barren. Wonder is commonly perceived as akin to curiosity, as stimulating inquiry, and as something that enhances pleasure in learning, but there are many experiences of wonder that do not have an obvious place in education.

In Wonder and Education Anders Schinkel theorises a kind of wonder with less obvious yet fundamental educational importance which he calls 'contemplative wonder'. Contemplative wonder disrupts frameworks of understanding that are taken for granted and perceived as natural and draws our attention to the world behind our constructions, sparking our interest in the world as something worth attending to for its own sake rather than for our purposes. It opens up space for the consideration of (radical) alternatives wherever it occurs, and in many cases is linked with deep experiences of value; therefore, it is not just important for education in general, but also, more specifically, for moral and political education.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages216
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-350-07190-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-350-07189-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameBloomsbury Philosophy of Education


  • wonder
  • curiosity
  • awe
  • philosophy of education
  • moral education
  • political education
  • education

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