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Title: Critical reflections on researching lived and learning experiences: towards a critical phenomenology
Authors: Samuel, M.A. 
Reddy, S. 
Brown, C.J.W. 
Keywords: Lifehistory research;phenomenography;critical phenomenology;phenomenological turn
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: University of Limpopo
Source: Samuel, M. A., Reddy, S. & Brown C. J. W. 2022. Critical reflections on researching lived and learning experiences: towards a critical phenomenology. African Perspectives of Research in Teaching & Learning (APORTAL), 6(3): 185-205. []
Journal: African Perspectives of Research in Teaching & Learning 
Abstract: The article presents an analysis of the three authors' critical reflections on their use of traditional canonical research approaches to explore students' lived and learning experiences in the South African higher education context. Author A drew on lifehistory research (LHR) to understand how prospective teachers were tackling the increasing diversity in post-apartheid schooling in the 1990s when South Africa achieved its democracy. Author B engaged phenomenography to explore the qualitatively different experiences of medical students who were the first cohort to undertake a problem-based learning (PBL) medical curriculum across diverse clinical contexts within a failing healthcare system (in 2010). Author C initially framed his study that focuses on student teachers' lived experiences in diverse teaching practicum (TP) contexts in phenomenology and uses this reflection to argue for a move to critical phenomenology to embrace a more social and political analysis of the participants' lived experiences (2022). Anchored in the critical paradigm, the authors question the relevance of traditional lifehistory research, phenomenography and phenomenology to study lived experiences, especially in contexts where elements of marginalities, complicit oppressions, power negotiations and peripheralisations are at play. The findings reveal that each of the approaches could not be disconnected from a historical socio-political analysis of why inequities persist despite the expressed formal transformational intentions. Lived experiences and the historicised and politicised systemic contexts are intertwined. The article concludes by exploring more relevant and appropriate theoretical frameworks blending interpretivist and critical worldviews. This permeability (whilst resisted by hegemonic guardians of the canon) expands phenomenology traditions to activate prospective research studies in a continuing unequal society.
ISSN: 2521-0262
Appears in Collections:Edu - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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