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2 A Transformational Twist on Learner-Centered Teaching: Experience and Existential Phenomenology The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Phenomenology in Education Research Team Karen Franklin, Tiffany Dellard, Brenda Murphy, Kristina Plaas, Anne Skutnik, Brian Sohn, Michele Williams, Kathy Greenberg, Neil Greenberg, Howard Pollio, and Sandra Thomas

3 Learn More…. Posters  Listening to Students  Monsters Under the Bed  It’s a Lot Different Than I Thought it was Going to Be  Applying Insights from Merleau-Ponty and van Manen to Pedagogy in Higher Education Presentation  Transformational Twist

4 Purposes of Session 1.Overview of our teaching/learning project 2.Small group exploration of classroom episodes 3.Large group dialogue 4.Principles of a Phenomenological approach to learner-centered pedagogy 5.Application in participants’ courses

5 Pollio’s Seminar Course Content -- Phenomenology of Perception Course Activities Participants -- Faculty & Graduate Students -- Many academic fields of study content/uploads/2013/05/seminar-events1.jpg Descriptions Of ExperiencesMini-lecturesExercises DemonstrationsInsightsClarification Personal StoriesDialogueElaboration Alternative PerspectivesResearch FindingsInterviews MusicInterpreting ArtworkSpontaneous Humor

6 An Extensive Case Study Data from Two Sections of a Graduate Seminar 1.Transcripts of planning sessions 2.Post session reflections by students, instructor & research/teaching assistant 3.Excerpts from transcripts of class sessions 4.Focus group interviews at the conclusion of the course 5.Individual student interviews at the conclusion of the course.

7 Student Quotes  I feel I am in it. I am creating it and it is creating me.  I really didn’t feel like a student. I felt like a learner.  I could literally feel my brain functioning. It was alive.

8 Student Quotes  I think there’s a challenge to be more engaged with everything…, like little things throughout your day even, and just kind of like seeing those things in your life.  It’s given me a different way to look at the world…. I’m relating differently to my students because of it…. I think it made me more critically aware of really listening to what they were saying…and when I did…that’s made a huge difference.

9 Student Quotes Research – I am more confused now that ever. I always felt that research could be manipulated depending on what statistical test you ran and at what point the result became significant. You can find so many studies that contradict each other. How do we know what to believe or what is true – This class today was exhausting mentally! I didn’t feel comfortable today because I couldn’t finish reading assignments for this class.

10 Agenda Reflect with you about 1.Case study episodes 2.Principles of a phenomenological approach 3.Meaning of the transformational twist 4.Examples this approach in other courses 5.Self-Reflection

11 Small Group Activity: 10 minutes Directions 1.Read the episode aloud with volunteers playing the part of instructor and students 1, 2, etc. 2.Describe what stands out to each of you as qualities of a learner-centered approach. 3.Record group reflections on poster paper. 4.Prepare to explain your ideas to the large group in relation to various dimensions of a learner-centered approach.

12 APA Learner-Centered Principles Cognitive and metacognitive factors Developmental influence on learning Emotional/affective and social factors Diversity and individual differences in learning Motivational factors Assessment of learning and performance. Learner-Centered Psychological Principles: A Framework for School Reform and Redesign. By Learner-centered Principles Work Group of the APA Board of Educational Affairs, Washington, DC: APA, Copyright 1997

13 Five Dimensions of Learning 1.Balance of Power 2.Function of Content 3.Role of the Teacher 4.Responsibility for Learning 5.Evaluation Purposes & Processes Weimer,(2002). Learner-Centered Teaching. Blumberg, (2009). Developing Learner-Centered Teaching: A Practical Guide for Faculty

14 Merleau-Ponty’s View All my knowledge of the world, even my scientific knowledge, is gained from my own particular point of view, or from some experience of the world without which the symbols of science would be meaningless. Merleau-Ponty, 2002, ix

15 The Student’s Dilemma The student has to appropriate … a specialized discourse, and --he has to do this as though he were easily and comfortably one with his audience, as though he were a member of the academy [historian, anthropologist, economist]; --he has to invent the university by assembling and mimicking its language while finding some compromise between idiosyncrasy, a personal history, …, and the requirements of convention, the history of a discipline …. --he must learn to speak our language… or … carry off the bluff, since speaking and writing will most certainly be required long before the skill is "learned." --And this, understandably, causes problems. (Bartholome, 2005, pp ).

16 A Phenomenological Approach A phenomenological approach to education … asserts the primacy of individual experiences, thinking, knowing and being. Freedom, personal vision, self-discovery and conscious awareness are its characteristic qualities. Franklin, 2013, p. 34

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18 The Transformation Twist

19 PRINCIPLES OF A PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH SAFETY Developing a comfortable atmosphere that enables an honest, spontaneous sharing of thoughts, which builds a sense of community where instructor and students focus on learning rather than performing. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE Joining with students initially in exploring relevant first person perceptions of the instructor and other class participants launches the world of the course content. GUIDANCE Facilitating the process of learning leads to deeper understanding of expertise. OPENNESS Encouraging students to freely explore course content through class dialogue leads to more effective learning and application beyond the classroom.


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