Speculating on childhood and time, with Michael Ende's Momo (1973)

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Childhood and time are closely linked concepts in education. Childhood as a modern domain is a cornerstone of the human narrative of being in time, with birth as the beginning and death as the end. A newborn child marks new beginnings and hope for the future, and geopolitically early childhood education is now seen as a cornerstone for building the economic wealth of nations. This perception of childhood and time as leading to better futures has come under scrutiny at a time when futures seem less and less predictable due to increasing economic, environmental, social,political and cultural pressures and tensions. This article explores childhood and time as concepts to speculatively imagine time as rhythm that creates differentiations with the aim of cutting time loose from linearity and causality. Michael Ende’s fairy-tale novel Momo (1973) offers possibilities for imagining time in its materiality and assists in speculative imaginings of time as rhythm that generates spaces for another, less causal and linear sense of time in early childhood education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • curious practice
  • listening
  • Michael Ende
  • rhythm
  • Time

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