Phenomenology in education: a case study in educational leadership

van der Mescht, H. (2004) Phenomenology in education: a case study in educational leadership. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 4 (1). pp. 1-16. ISSN 1445-7377




[From the introduction]: Overheard during tea at an Education Faculty research design course: “Phenomenology produces interesting and surprising results, but it’s just too much work …” The speaker was a prospective Masters student who had decided against “phenomenological” research, presumably because “it’s just too much work”. Having been deeply involved in phenomenological research myself for some years, I could identify with his reservation. But his first statement is of course equally true: phenomenological research does indeed produce “interesting and surprising results”, as many of my students have found. I should at the outset describe what I mean by phenomenological research more carefully, since, as Schweitzer (2002) has recently pointed out, there is certainly more than one meaning out there. The kind of research I am referring to is not the kind frequently featured in this journal, which Schweitzer (2002) describes as “Husserlian”, but another kind, which he describes as “‘what’s it like for them’ type of studies”. In this paper I present a case for the latter, and consider its appropriateness to the field of education. I argue that this approach to phenomenological research (which Schweitzer refers to as empirical) is a potentially powerful way of making sense of education practitioners’ (and learners’) sense-making, and can lead to startling new insights into the uniquely complex processes of learning, teaching and educational managing and leading.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Phenomenology; phenomenological research; empirical; empirical phenomenology; education; learning; teaching; leading; managing; sense-making
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
ID Code:990
Deposited On:19 May 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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