Category: The Life-World in Educational Empirical Research - September 2013
 
 

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pdf.png Special Edition on the Lifeworld Approach for Empirical Research in Education (The Gothenburg Tradition) - Editorial (By Editor-in-Chief)  

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Life is filled with so many interesting twists, turns and surprises.
Late one evening in early November 2009, as I was systematically reading through the mail that had arrived at its destination – my e-mail inbox - I heard the familiar 'ding' sound of yet another message arriving. ...


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pdf.png Special Edition on the Lifeworld Approach for Empirical Research in Education (The Gothenburg Tradition) - Guest Editorial (By Jan Bengtsson)  

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The aim of this Special Edition is to explore the use of the phenomenological notion of the lifeworld in educational empirical research. This notion was originally developed within philosophy to answer philosophical questions. If it is going to be used in empirical research, it is necessary to discuss how it can be used in this new and different context. ...


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pdf.png With the Lifeworld as Ground: Introduction to the Special Issue. An Outline of the Gothenburg Tradition of the Lifeworld Approach - By Jan Bengtsson  

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This paper outlines the history of the lifeworld tradition since its initiation in the Nordic countries during the 1980s at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
In this presentation, the tradition of the lifeworld approach focuses mainly on doctoral theses within the tradition although it should be noted that publications in the tradition are not limited to only these kinds of writings. Many lifeworld researchers have published extensively in books and journals as well as other forums, and have been enormously successful in the academic world.
Although the lifeworld approach largely had its origins in philosophy and education at the University of Gothenburg, it has rapidly spread to other disciplines and universities as well as other countries, even beyond the Nordic regions. The lifeworld approach has seen considerable growth in Europe as well as internationally as it continues to attract proponents and researchers from a broad spectrum of human and social science scholars.


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pdf.png With the Lifeworld as Ground. A Research Approach for Empirical Research in Education: The Gothenburg Tradition - By Jan Bengtsson  

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This article is intended as a brief introduction to the lifeworld approach to empirical research in education. One decisive feature of this approach is the inclusion of an explicit discussion of its ontological assumptions in the research design. This does not yet belong to the routines of empirical research in education. Some methodological consequences of taking the lifeworld ontology as a ground for empirical research are discussed as well as the importance of creativity in the choice of method for particular projects. In this way, the lifeworld approach has its own particular perspective in phenomenological, empirical research in education. The article concludes with a description of an empirical study based on the lifeworld approach in order to illuminate the possibilities for empirical research in education as well as the significance of this approach for education.


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pdf.png Body, Space and Time – and their Influences on Trustful Relationships in the Classroom - By Annika Lilja  

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A trustful relationship between teacher and student is fundamental when it comes to the question of what makes teaching and learning work in the classroom. Most researchers have been content with simply examining teachers' subject knowledge and teaching methods. The aim of this study is to highlight the trustful relationship between teacher and student from the teachers' point of view. Taking both experience and bodily views into account allows for another way of understanding relationships in the classroom. This is accomplished through the use of a lifeworld phenomenological approach and the concepts of the lived body, lived space and lived time described by Merleau-Ponty (1962/2008). The empirical material on which this article is based was collected by fieldwork in five different compulsory schools in Sweden. In this article I discuss how these lived aspects help to describe a multifaceted relationship. The article also shows that these lived aspects influence relationships through the organisation of activities in the classroom. The article discusses how these lived aspects influence the relationship between the teacher and the student, as well as how they influence the student's opportunities to learn in school. This study shows that these lived aspects need to be taken seriously in order for teaching and learning to work.


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pdf.png Teachers’ Experiences of Enjoyment of Work as a Subtle Atmosphere: An Empirical Lifeworld Phenomenological Analysis - By Anna-Carin Bredmar  

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The purpose of this paper is to show how teachers' experiences of one dimension of enjoyment of work, namely joy as a subtle atmosphere, can be described and understood from a lifeworld perspective. The lifeworld phenomenological approach contributes to the whole research design and provides the concepts that form the theoretical basis for the analysis. The specific lifeworld concepts used are 'intertwinement', 'natural attitude', 'pre-predicativity', 'intentionality' and 'intersubjectivity'. Using these concepts, the results illuminate and describe the meanings of enjoyment of work, based on what the teachers expressed in interviews. The empirical study consisted of interviews with five teachers working with pupils aged seven to nine years. The results illuminate some vital and fundamental characteristics of teachers' experiences of enjoyment of work and its significance. These characteristics include its basic function and its inherent possibility for opening up the whole classroom situation to the teachers. In this sense, enjoyment of work is similar to standing in a doorway and involves an expectant foreshadowing. The study also found that teachers' experiences of joy are intertwined with their experiences of flow and control. The results found that enjoyment of work was significant in the sense of the confirmation of good work, like a receipt. Finally, the results revealed new concepts and metaphors for a richer understanding of this phenomenon. The research implications of the study illustrate how the lifeworld approach enables a deeper understanding of emotional dimensions in teachers work. The approach provides useful concepts that broaden the understanding of the content, function and meaning of teachers' experiences of enjoyment of work. The paper also points to the need for more research in this area. The results illuminate new and different aspects of teachers' work that may be a valuable resource in this profession.


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