Phenomenology in educational research - Tone Saevi


Published on

Presentation at HEA-funded workshop 'A dialogue between phenomenology and realism in pedagogical and educational research '.

The workshop aimed to stimulate debate around the philosophical underpinnings of different research methodologies, whose shared terminology is often interpreted in radically contrasting ways, and in particular, to encourage dialogue between realist and phenomenological research traditions. The workshop was aimed at pedagogical and educational researchers who are looking to expand their methodological repertoire and to explore new ways of teaching research methods.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event:

For further details of the HEA's work on teaching research methods in the Social Sciences see:

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Phenomenology in educational research - Tone Saevi

  1. 1. Phenomenology in educational research Controversies, contradictions, confluences OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 1
  2. 2. What I talk of when I talk of education • Historical detour Education as interdisciplinary field of study or moral-laden interest? • After Bologna Ex. 1 The tool-school Ex. 2 The unsuccessful child OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 2
  3. 3. Existential education • Education as interpretive practice All theories focus on morality, relation, asymmetry • The relation between adult and child is basis A continous reflection on ideal/real, freedom/control, dependence / independence • The professional teacher is not a master teacher The adult is being authorized by the child • Child and adult inhabit the same world in different ways The unique child is in dialogue with the world • Child and adult each are subjects and origins of action We are dependent of others in our action • Education is about the ability and willingness to be addressed OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 3
  4. 4. What I talk of when I talk of phenomenology • Phenomenology as a method is not applied to education as a philosophical understanding but is subject to educational interests, purposes, and moral considerations, from which it cannot be separated (Saevi 2014, 2). • Phenomenology (of practice) is an endeavor that “aims to open up possibilities for creating formative relations between being and acting, between who we are and how we act, between thoughtfulness and tact” (van Manen 2007, 13). • Phenomenology is about making visible and thus “reflectable” the relation between the human being and the world. The strength of phenomenology comes from its immersion with the concrete reality and thus the lived “experience is the decisive factor” (Levering 2012,140). OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 4
  5. 5. • The concrete lived-through experience The German term Erlebnis differs from the English term experience by its lived-through quality • The pathic grasp Theory “thinks” the world, practice “grasps” the world pathically • Responsible insight A caring act where we wants to know that which is most significant to being” (van Manen 1997,5) • Rigorous methods Phenomenology as a method involves the enigma of the epoche and the reduction , and the vocative - philosophical and philological methods OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 5
  6. 6. Phenomenology in education Examples • It is Monday morning in the City-park of Bergen. A father and his little son just left the bus and are on their way through the park to kindergarten. The three-year-old walks a few meters ahead of his father, stops by the low fence separating the pathway from the lawn down to the lake, and stands for a few moments looking at the ducks swimming down there. The father also stops and looks at his son. After a few moments, he says: “Come now, let us continue.” The little boy starts walking again and his father is close behind. • Somewhere else in the City-park another little boy about the same age walks with his father on his way to kindergarten. The son lets go of his father’s hand and runs toward the low fence to have a look at the ducks. “Come back! You are supposed to walk with me” the father says immediately, grasps his son’s hand and continues. OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 6
  7. 7. OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 7
  8. 8. OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 8
  9. 9. Phenomenology in education – examples of ways of living and acting • Presupposes a broad understanding of education Maintain the lived -through quality of the particular educational situation and acknowledge a personal and cultural remembrance of what it means to be a child and young person • Orients to experience, interpretation, language The world already always is there as unreflective and pre- conscious experience, before any analytic explanations can happen • Starts in the lived experience of the child Education starts from the “tension between education as a primordial human phenomenon and as a cultural phenomenon” (van Manen 2012, 2) • Asks educational questions to phenomenological education Moral questions of the aims, purpose and relationships of education are examples of phenomenological educational questions OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 9
  10. 10. Responsible for the life of the child • The existential question that can distinguish this particular phenomenological educational practice/research from other educational and phenomenological practices/researches is the following: “In what way am I responsible for this child and his or her life and how can I responsibly respond to this responsibility in this particular situation?” OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 10
  11. 11. Ending • What do we disagree about? • What are the contradictions? • What seems to come together? • What NOW? OxfordUniversityMarch6. 2014ToneSaevi Phenomenologyin EducationalResearch 11