"Pedagogy of Listening" vs. "Pedagogy of Listening to Educators": Ethnographic Research on Child Autonomy in Kindergartens in Montenegro

Jovana Marojević, Katarina Todorović, Saša Milić


The paper discusses the phenomenon of child autonomy
from the perspective of educators' personal epistemologies
and power relations in the adult-child interaction in the
practices of institutional education in Montenegro. The
construct of child autonomy is approached from the
standpoint of critical-constructivist theory and the self-
-determination theory, as a socio-cultural product shaped by
ethnopedagogies and personal epistemologies of educators.
The main goal of the ethnographic study conducted in three
preschool educational institutions in Montenegro was to
explore the epistemological theories of educators through the
analysis of institutional educational practices, given that "the
ways of thinking about childhood fuse with institutionalized
practices" (Prout & James, 2005, p. 22). We conclude about
the existence of an objectivist epistemological theory of
educators and the dominance of normative power relations
in educator-child interactions, and discuss a special type of
epistemological "over-power". The comparability with the
results of similar research in the region is stated, and it
points to a possible explanatory connection between
collectivist culture and the controlling motivational style and
authoritarianism in education.


educators' personal epistemologies; objectivist epistemology; power relations; preschool education

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Copyright (c) 2020 Jovana Marojević, Katarina Todorović, Saša Milić

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