Professori Veli-Matti Värrin juhlakirja – POISEDilaiset toimitushommissa

Perjantaina 10.6.2022 julkaistiin kasvatustieteen professori Veli-Matti Värrille valmisteltu teos Maailman tärkein tehtävä – Esseitä kasvatuksesta, vastuusta ja toivosta. Juhlakirja professori Veli-Matti Värrille. Teoksen ovat toimittamiseen ovat osallistuneet POISED-tutkijat Tuomas Tervasmäki, Katri Jurvakainen, Johanna Kallio, Jani Pulkki ja Jan Varpanen. Lisäksi kirjaa ovat toimittaneet Olli-Jukka Jokisaari, Pasi Takkinen, Arto Tammenoksa.

Teos on vapaasti ladattavissa ja luettavissa filosofiseen kirjallisuuteen keskittyneen kustantajan niin & näin sivuilta osoitteesta:

Nyt julkaistu juhlakirja on tekijöidensä kunnianosoitus kasvatustieteen professori Veli-Matti Värrille opettajana, mentorina ja lempeän viisaana kanssakulkijana. Teos koostuu Veli-Matin kollegoiden, opiskelijoiden ja ystävien laatimista esseistä ja taiteesta, jotka on koottu yhteen hänen elämäntyönsä kunnioittamiseksi. Kirja kommentoi Värrin kasvatusajattelun teemoja, jatkaa keskustelua ja tuo esiin näkökulmia, jotka valottavat vähemmän tunnettuja piirteitä Veli-Matista ihmisenä.

Kirjoittajat ovat paitsi Värrin kollegoita, myös suomalaisen kasvatustieteen ja kasvatusfilosofian merkittäviä toimijoita. Kirja kokoaa yksien kansien sisään laajan kattauksen kotimaisen kasvatusajattelun keskeisiä ja ajankohtaisia teemoja. Teos soveltuu kaikille kasvatusfilosofisista kysymyksistä kiinnostuneille, kasvatusalan asiantuntijoille sekä kasvatustieteen opetusmateriaaliksi.

Kasvatuksen päämääränä on elämän ehtojen turvaaminen tuleville sukupolville, eläimille ja kasveille; se etsii elämän rikkautta, syvyyttä ja toivoa mahdollisuuksista, jotka avautuvat olemisesta itsestään. Tässä merkityksessä kasvatus on myös filosofista toimintaa, pyrkimystä viisauden ihanteiden toteuttamiseen.” 

– Veli-Matti Värri

Teoksesta tehdään myös pieni fyysinen painos ennakkotilausten perusteella. Ennakkotilausaika päättyy torstaina 23.6. klo 12.00, joten ole nopea! Fyysisen niiteen ennakkotilauksen voit tehdä oheisella lomakkeella:

For english speakers: a Festschrift in honour of professor Veli-Matti Värri has been published! The book is written primarily in Finnish, but it also contains one article “On Friendship, Activism, and Pedagogies of Responsibility” in English written by Rebecca Martusewicz. You can find the book (open access) from here:

An ecosocial philosophy of education project continues with new articles on humility, technology informed education, morality of economism, ecosocialization, and ecosocial Bildung

Pulkki, Jani (2022) Humility imparts the wonders of nature: a virtue-ethical elaboration of some Michael Bonnett’s thoughtsEnvironmental Education Research, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2022.2083082 Please contact about the preprint!


An attitude of (1) metaphysics of mastery is a major ecological problem accompanied with (2) scientism, which considers all reality is understood with one form of knowledge acquisition, that of classical experimental science. In this article, I consider the two ideas of Michael Bonnett from a virtue ethical perspective. I propose that metaphysics of mastery and scientism are virtue ethical problems of hubris. Modern hubris considers everything a resource for human use without asking for permission. I also claim humility is usually conceived incorrectly, as self-abasement and poor self-worth in a hierarchical relationship between the higher and the lower. A non-hierarchical idea of humility is proposed instead. Humility, this way conceived, is the proper evaluation of oneself. On the other hand, humility is a virtue and a way to unlearn the metaphysics of mastery and scientism. Humility also enables learning a friendlier and more realistic relation to nature. Without self-abasing humility or the self-absorbed pride of the Western subject, we can see reality in more truthful ways. This means seeing both the ecological havoc and the wonder and awe of nature in a fruitful way for environmental education.

Takkinen, Pasi & Pulkki, Jani (2022) Discovering earth and the missing masses—technologically informed education for a post-sustainable future, Educational Philosophy and Theory, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2022.2060816


Climate change education (CCE) and environmental education (EE) seek ways for us humans to keep inhabiting Earth. We present a thought experiment adopting the perspective of Earth-settlers, aiming to illuminate the planetary mass of technology. By elaborating Hannah Arendt’s notion of ‘earth alienation’ and Bruno Latour’s notion of technology as ‘missing mass’, we suggest that, in the current Anthropocene era, our relation to technology should be a crucial theme of CCE and EE. We further suspect that sustainable development (SD) and the education promoting it (ESD) are problematic, because the green growth proposed is inextricably linked to the unattainable goal of decoupling growth from environmental impact. We therefore suggest education for post-sustainability (EPS) that critically re-evaluates the connections between technology and sustainability. But can educators critically question technology, since educational institutions seem to be unconditionally committed to promoting technological progress? While tracing this professional dilemma, we call for educational responsibility and autonomy to question technology when it is at odds with sustainability. To this end, we outline technological literacy that introduces the arts of (a) seeing technology, (b) living with technology, and (c) delegating or sustainably assimilating technology.

Pulkki, Jani (2022) The Moral Problems of Economism in an Age of Eco-Crisis. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies 19 (3)


To make a convincing argument, people are nowadays expected to speak the language of conomics. Neoliberalism has become notorious for making an economic worldview dominate politics, yet it offers only a partial and ideologically inclined explanation for the zeitgeist of today. This paper expands upon the term, or ideology, of economism as a critical means for understanding educational politics and the contemporary formation of moral subjectivity. Economism helps clarify the ideological features of mainstream economics that can influence education. Rather than describe the influence of markets and competition as an ‘invisible hand’, this paper envisages it less favourably as an ‘invisible foot’. Philosophers such as Samuel Bowles, Michael Sandel and Robin Hahnel claim that seeing the world through a purely economic lens crowds out certain important features of the human character such as moral obligation. Based on my earlier research I show how competitive ways of thinking are hampering the learning of ecological virtues, such as empathy. The ideology of economism is thus examined as a concept from a primarily moral or virtue-ethical perspective. Rather than examining moral rules or moral obligations as such, virtue-ethics asks what character traits we should adopt to live a morally fulfilling or ecologically viable life. This philosophical paper therefore has two main research questions: (1) What is economism? (2) How does economism affect our moral character? The main conclusion is that economism and competition have a detrimental impact that hardens our moral subjectivity.

Foster, Raisa & Mnemo Zin, Keto, Sami & Pulkki, Jani (2022) Recognizing Ecosocialization in Childhood Memories, Educational Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00131946.2022.2051031


Western modernity has shaped people’s thought patterns and value hierarchies, relegating humans to the position of supremacy. This anthropocentric worldview has disconnected humans from the rest of nature and eventually led to the social and ecological catastrophe. This paper shows that collective memory work can help us recognize how we are always socialized within and by human communities and also already ecosocialized within and by the rest of nature. The motivation to use the ecosocialization framework to analyze childhood memories comes from our wish to problematize the anthropocentric view of life further and resituate childhood and growing up beyond exclusively social and human contexts. We draw on the memories collected in the Re-Connect / Re-Collect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods project (2019–2021). We “think with theory” to reveal traces of ecosocialization present in childhood memories. On this basis, we suggest that including multisensory awareness practices in memory workshops to recognize our bodily belonging—as participants create their memory stories bringing into focus relations with more-than-humans—could potentialize collective biography as a form of transformative ecosocial education.

Mansikka-aho, Anette & Pulkki, Jani (2022). Ekososiaalisen sivistyksen haaste: autoetnografia luokanopettajan voimaantumisesta. In Ninja Hienonen & Päivi Nilivaara & Milja Saarnio & Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen (Eds.) Laaja-alainen osaaminen koulussa. Ajattelijana ja oppijana kehittyminen. Helsinki: Gaudeamus

What is self-cultivation? A new publication from the EnAct-project

The contemporary context of the Anthropocene presents novel challenges for our understanding of self-cultivation. Although self-cultivation is one of the longue durées of western civilization, or probably because it is so, most of the concepts we use in making sense of the phenomenon emerged in socio-historical contexts quite different from ours. What are the changes needed to the concept(s) of self-cultivation in the Anthropocene?

EnAct-project researchers Jan Varpanen, Antti Saari, Johanna Kallio and Katri Jurvakainen took up this question in a paper published recently: The Uncanny Challenge of Self-Cultivation in the Anthropocene. Drawing on work done under the label of dark ecology and psychoanalysis among others, they conceptualize the Zeitgeist of the Anthropocene with the concept of ’uncanny’. As the original German word (unheimliche) suggests, uncanny means that something very familiar (homely, heimlich) is imbued with something foreign (un-homely, unheimlich). Varpanen et al. take the strangeness induced by the intertwinement of the familiar and the foreign to be a characteristic feature of the Anthropocene.

Uncanny is used in the paper as a lens through which extant conceptualizations of self-cultivation are reviewed. As such, the paper provides some directions as to what are the key elements in conceptualizing self-cultivation for our times. More concretely, it points to the strengths and weaknesses of various existing conceptulizations (of self-cultivation) for tackling the wicked problems of these strange times.

A Lecture and a Seminar on Denialism

Tomaž Grušovnik will be giving an open lecture and two-day seminar about denialism and willful ignorance in May

Associate professor and senior researcher Tomaž Grušovnik, PhD, from University of Primorska is coming to visit Tampere University in May. His areas of research include animal ethics, agnotology, and philosophy of education.  During this visit, he will give an open lecture on the subject of  Avoiding Knowledge and Moral Responsibility: Denialism and Willful Ignorance in Environmental and Animal Ethics. Lecture will be held at Tampere university, but you can also participate via Zoom.

Tomaž Grušovnik will also be giving a two-day seminar Willful Ignorance on Wednesday May 18th and Thursday May 19th at 9.00–11.00 am. Seminar is open for doctoral researchers, master’s level students and academic staff.

more information about the events can be found here: Upcoming lecture & seminar – EnAct – Researching Environmental Activism and Self-Cultivation (

Teacher agency and futures thinking

POISED-researcher Jan Varpanen was the lead author in a recently published paper by the name Teacher Agency and Futures Thinking. The paper details the opportunities offered for research on teachers’ agency by concepts drawn from the field of futures studies. The open access article can be found here.

The paper is an example of collaboration between POISED and other Finnish universities. Of the other authors in the paper, Antti Laherto and Jaakko Hilppö work at the University of Helsinki University while Tuulikki Ukkonen-Mikkola works at the University of Jyväskylä. The paper was drawn up in the Finnish research and development project ”Innoplay” (2018-2022), funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The project centered around developing the conceptual and practical tools early childhood education and primary school teachers need for engaging with technology as a novel aspect of the national curriculum.

The focus of the paper itself, however, is broader in that the paper contributes to recent debates as to how teachers make a difference in confronting educational reforms. A novel approach is introduced to this discussion with the help of concepts drawn from the field of futures studies. With the help of short future essays written by the teachers who took part in the Innoplay-project, the authors illustrate how work explicitly engaging with the teachers’ images of the future opens up opportunities for reflection regarding the societal role of education and the teacher profession.