Phenomenology: Discovering new meanings of pedagogy within the lived experience

Year: 2002

Author: Mostert, Willemina

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Teachers in Education Queensland (E.Q.) schools are currently being challenged to examine their pedagogy with the view to raising the quality of classroom learning experiences and enhancing student learning outcomes. This paper will explore phenomenology as a methodology to explore the phenomena of teaching and teacher pedagogy in E.Q. schools. It will present an alternate view of pedagogy through the phenomenological lens of West European educational thought of the era 1940-1970. In this context pedagogy will refer to the activity of teaching, parenting, educating or generally living with children, that requires constant practical acting in concrete situations and relations. (Van Manen, 1990 p.2)

This paper will propose that phenomenological pedagogy, in taking us to the lived experience of teachers in their classrooms, will allow teachers to discover new meaning about themselves as teachers and their pedagogy in their lifeworld. It will be suggested that this inquiry may be facilitated through the Schoolwide Pedagogy (SWP) element of the IDEAS Project currently available to E.Q. schools.

This paper will report on the work-in-progress of a school-based learning circle of classroom teachers exploring the lived experience of aspects of their personal pedagogy through phenomenological inquiry. This learning circle is in dialogue with leading human science researcher Max van Manen (University of Alberta, Canada).