Abstract 416

In Search of a Phenomenological Way of Being: Living In and Outside Pedagogy

Presentation:  Reetika Khanna, Stefan Honisch

Session C | 10:05 – 10:45 | Location: Room 1005


The proposed group session will explore what phenomenological approaches have contributed to our own lives inside and outside formal education. We situate this presentation in relation to our lived experiences as, respectively, a high school teacher from India, and current Master’s student in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (Reetika Khanna), and a disabled piano teacher from Canada, and recent graduate of the doctoral program in Cross-Faculty Inquiry in Education (Stefan Sunandan Honisch). Reetika and I both self-identify as outsiders to education in complex ways, and have drawn on phenomenology, in particular, and philosophical discourses, in general, to help us chart our very different pathways into, and within teaching practices, and educational research. The proposed session unfolds in three parts. First, we will each present a five-minute discussion of how phenomenology has shaped our own thinking around questions of pedagogy as a way of being, and of education as a world of inquiry with which we have both identified and dis-identified throughout our lives. Second, we will converse with each other in a free-flowing manner for ten minutes about our shared interests in phenomenology in education, locating points of convergence and divergence within our own pedagogical beings that have transformed our individual understanding of vulnerability, openness, identity, and aesthetic issues in education. In the final twenty minutes of our session, we will invite questions and reflections from fellow participants on how teachers, students, and researchers in various sub-fields of education can benefit from thinking phenomenologically about the everyday pedagogies of lived experience, and about pedagogical identities as sites of both acceptance and resistance. A larger aim of this presentation is to question the separation of phenomenology as practiced by philosophers from its ostensibly more practice-based incarnations brought to life by teachers. Through reflections on our personal experiences, public conversation with each other about our shared and divergent approaches, and in dialogue with session participants, Reetika and I hope to edge past the tidy divide between philosophical and practical registers of phenomenological inquiry in education.
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