Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology
On-line version ISSN 2079-7222
GILES, David. Phenomenologically researching the lecturer-student teacher relationship: Some challenges encountered. Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.9, n.2, pp. 1-11. ISSN 2079-7222.
The teacher-student relationship has long been of primary concern to educators and the focus of much educational research. While various theoretical understandings of this relationship exist, ontological understandings of the lived experiences of this relationship are not so prevalent, and there is thus a call for phenomenological studies aimed at uncovering the essential and ontological meanings of this taken for granted phenomenon. This paper reports on such a project and, in particular, some of the challenges encountered in the process of phenomenologically researching the relationship which arises in the context of teacher education between the lecturer and the student teacher. The challenges of phenomenological research are both numerous and complex. These challenges relate to the intensity of the lived experience of the research itself, the meditative attunement of the researcher to the focal phenomenon, and the process of walking in a research process that is mindful of one's own historicity (Gadamer, 1960/1995). While the primary focus of this paper is on the challenges of researching the lecturer-student teacher relationship in a phenomenological way, it nevertheless reflects the unique capacity of a phenomenological approach to respect the centrality and humanity of relationship and to open understanding that affirms this.