In our book we present a phenomenological approach to teaching and learning in higher education. Guided by the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, the aim of the approach is to bring more explicit awareness to the lifeworlds of teachers and students in order to balance the utilitarian needs of workforce preparation with the wonder and natural motivation provided by a phenomenological attitude. The theoretical constructs of existential phenomenology are complemented by research from integrative biology, a two-year case study of a successful professor and his students, and other studies. Using a phenomenological methodology, the authors describe the professor’s planning and teaching style and analyze transcribed episodes of classroom conversation. Authors discuss how the professor enacted a phenomenological attitude that honored the lifeworld of the classroom while facilitating dialogue that enabled students to weave personally relevant experiences with course content. Also included are studies of the experiences of the students that provide key insights into the relational nature of transformative learning. Additionally, the broad applicability of the phenomenological approach is exemplified with examples of course descriptions that include traditional and online course delivery and work with marginalized and traditionally underserved student populations. The volume concludes with principles of a phenomenological approach that can enrich and enable the unique connoisseurship of professors’ pedagogical practices.
This book presents a carefully constructed framework for teaching and learning informed by philosophical and empirical foundations of phenomenology. Based on an extensive, multi-dimensional case study focused around the ‘lived experience’ of college-level teaching preparation, classroom interaction, and students’ reflections, this book presents evidence for the claim that the worldviews of both teachers and learners affect the way that they present and receive knowledge. By taking a unique phenomenological approach to pedagogical issues in higher education, this volume demonstrates that a truly transformative learning process relies on an engagement between consciousness and the world it ‘intends’.