Anders Schinkel

Project Leader


Anders Schinkel is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Education at the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Born in Kampen, I spent my childhood and school days in Maassluis and Spijkenisse, where I still live. I studied both history and philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam, graduating in 2001 and 2002, respectively. My PhD research (2002-2006) concerned the philosophical foundation or justification of (legal accommodation of) conscientious objection and culminated in the monograph Conscience and Conscientious Objections (Pallas Publications, Amsterdam, 2007) I received my PhD in 2007, after which I had teaching and research positions at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Technical University Eindhoven, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I’ve been Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Education at the latter since 2011. When I’m not working I like to go climbing, running, or fossil hunting; I also enjoy walking in nature, reading, and writing poetry.

Areas of expertise

Philosophy of education, moral education, ethical theory


My main research interests lie in the fields of philosophy of education and ethical theory, and their overlap. I’ve written on moral education and the educational relevance of questions concerning life’s meaning (both partly in collaboration with Doret de Ruyter), but also on animal ethics, filial obligations, and a range of other issues. My current research focusses on the experience, conceptualization, and especially the value and educational importance of wonder, in particular the form of wonder I call contemplative wonder, which I believe is to be distinguished from inquisitive wonder. Whereas the latter is accompanied by a drive to investigate the what, how, and why of things, the former is rather a ‘silent’ response to mystery; it may also provide a stimulus to explore or engage in research, but its importance is not exhausted by that. Contemplative wonder’s importance lies primarily in sustaining our interest in the world, reminding us of the limitations of our understanding, and (particularly in the social and political realm), opening up space for alternative ways of doing or organizing things. I am curious to see to what extent this theoretical distinction will be born out by our empirical research among primary school children.

Selected publications

  • Schinkel, A. (2021). Wonder and education: On the educational importance of contemplative wonder. London: Bloomsbury
  • Schinkel, A. (ed.) (2020). Wonder, education, and human flourishing: Theoretical, empirical, and practical perspectives. Amsterdam: VU University Press
  • Schinkel, A. (2020). Wonder: Temporality and educational value. Civitas Educationis IX(2): 73-86
  • Schinkel, A. (2020). Education as Mediation Between Child and World: The Role of Wonder. Studies in Philosophy and Education 39: 479-492
  • Wolbert, L. and A. Schinkel (2020). What should schools do to promote wonder? Oxford Review of Education, DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2020.1856648
  • Schinkel, A. (2020). Why good teachers allow a child’s mind to wander and wonder. Psyche,
  • Schinkel, A. (2019). Wonder, mystery, and meaning. Philosophical Papers 48(2): 293-319
  • Schinkel, A. (2018). Wonder and moral education. Educational Theory 68(1): 31-48
  • Schinkel, A. (2017). The educational importance of deep wonder. Journal of Philosophy of Education 51(2): 538-553


Additional information