Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Phenomenography

  • MaryKay OrgillEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_271

Synonyms

Definition

Phenomenography is an empirical research tradition that was designed to answer questions about teaching and learning, particularly in the context of educational research. The aim of a phenomenographic study is to identify the different ways in which a group of people experience, interpret, understand, perceive or conceptualize a certain phenomenon or aspect of reality – and to do so from the perspectives of the members of the group. From its Greek etymological roots (phainomenon, meaning “appearance,” and graphein, meaning “description”), phenomenography is, literally, a “description of appearances.”

Theoretical Background

Focus. The central aim of a phenomenographic study is to identify the different ways in which people experience, interpret, understand, perceive, or conceptualize a certain phenomenon. According to Ference Marton (1986, 1994), one of the original developers of phenomenography, there are a limited number of...

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References

  1. Akerlind, G. S. (2005). Variation and commonality in phenomenographic research methods. Higher Education Research and Development, 24, 321–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Marton, F. (1986). Phenomenography – A research approach to investigating different understandings of reality. Journal of Thought, 21, 28–49.Google Scholar
  3. Marton, F. (1994). Phenomenography. In T. Husen & T. N. Postlethwaite (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of education (2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 4424–4429). Oxford, UK: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  4. Richardson, J. T. E. (1999). The concepts and methods of phenomenographic research. Review of Educational Research, 69, 53–82.Google Scholar
  5. Saljo, R. (1997). Talk as data and practice – A critical look at phenomenographic inquiry and the appeal to experience. Higher Education Research and Development, 16, 173–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sandberg, J. (1997). Are phenomenographic results reliable? Higher Education Research and Development, 16, 203–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA