The Theoretical Framework of Phenomenography
Basic Information on what the Theory is about and Situations it Addresses
Fields of Study that use the Phenomenography Framework
Gurus of the Field
Three Sample Research Questions
Akerlind, G. S. (2008). A phenomenographic approach to developing academics' understanding of the
nature of teaching and learning. Teaching In Higher Education, 13(6), 633-644.
Ashworth, P., & Lucas, U. (1998). What Is the "world" of phenomenography? Scandinavian Journal Of
Educational Research, 42(4), 415-31.
Joosa, E. & Bethelsen, D. (2006) Parenting a child With Down Syndrome: A phenomenographic study
Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 12(1), 45-58.
Kawulich, B., Garner, M., &Wagner, C. (2009) Students' conceptions and misconceptions of social
research. Qualitative Sociology Review, 5(3), 5-25
Marton, F. (1986). Phenomenography.A research approach to investigating different understandings of r
reality. Journal of Thought, 21, 28-49.
Marton, F., & Pong, W. (2005). On the unit of description in phenomenography. Higher Education
Research And Development, 24(4), 335-348.
Smith, D. (2011) "Phenomenology". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Stamouli, I., & Huggard M. (2007) Phenomenography as a tool for understanding our
students. International Symposium for Engineering Education, 181-186.
Phenomenography stems from the early works of phenomenologists. The framework of phenomenography has been documented back to the 18th century in various forms. However it wasn't until the 1900's, when Edmund Husserl used this framework (phenomenology) in his study of Logical Investigations, that phenomenography started to shape into its current definition (Smith, 2011). Husserl is considered by some to be the founding father of phenomenology as we know it today. Husserl’s practice of phenomenology is of a transcendental nature. Martin Heidegger’s and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s practice of phenomenology differs from Husserl's in that it is hermeneutical and existential in nature. Phenomenography later regenerated in Sweden in the late 1960's and stemmed from education research that wanted to accomplish seeing views from the eyes of students (Ashworth, 1998). Phenomenography was further brought into the field of education from the research done by Ference Marton in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Marton took phenomenography and used it to answer questions about thinking and learning in field of education. It is important to distinguish between phenomenology and phenomenography. The later focuses more on a group's perceptions and experiences of a particular phenomena and the differences of these perceptions and experiences amongst the group members. Phenomenology has been around a lot longer and is more individually orientated on one person's beliefs and perceptions of a phenomena.
Classical phenomenologists were Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean PaulSartre, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Current researchers of phenomenography include Ferene Marton, Lennart Svensson, and Roger Saljo.
Phenomenography is used in numerous fields of study. However, it is widely used in the fields of social science and education. Two popular occupational fields utilizing phenomenography include teaching and nursing. It is also being used in the field of engineering and computer sciences, because it lends itself to zero in on the underlying principles of an individual's perspective on a specific phenomena (Stamouli & Huggard, 2007).
1. What is the essence of the experience of being identified as an under performing teacher and going through a teacher remediation program?
2. How do grade level teachers perceive implementing mandatory pacing charts in their classrooms?
3. How do middle and high school teachers perceive the use of Facebook and its effects on socialization within the school environment?
Phenomenography is defined as a qualitative investigation that fosters the understanding of a specific phenomenon or aspect of the environment. (Marton & Yan Pong, 2005). Smith, 2006 defines phenomenography as the study of structures of experience or consciousness; the meaning that things have in our experiences. When conducting phenomenological research, interviewing is a key method of gathering information. Participants of the research are asked to describe experiences relating to a specific phenomena. The differences in a groups' experiences or perceptions of the phenomena are documented by the researcher by various techniques which include interviews and observations. This is typically the first step in phenomeographic research which is followed by categorization of the data. The final step is to note the conceptions and how they differentiate from each of the subjects (Kawulich, Garner, & Wagner, 2009).
Link to Article
Link to another article using the phenomenography framework