‘Understanding things from within’. A Husserlian phenomenological approach to doing educational research and inquiring about learning

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This article describes a phenomenological approach to doing educational inquiry and understanding learning. Working within the qualitative tradition, the research is conceived as ‘narrow and deep’, intimate research that focuses definitively on internality and on first-hand experiences of learning. The theoretical background for doing phenomenological research is explained, especially in regard to the ideas of Edmund Husserl. Then, the author’s own systematic process for doing phenomenological research in education and exploring learning is offered with examples from his doctoral research project in which he investigated doctoral students and their experience of negotiating their learning. Samples from the author’s writing in regard to one research participant are used to illustrate the research process explicated in the article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-122
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Research and Method in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • educational inquiry
  • Husserl
  • learning
  • methodology
  • Phenomenological
  • phenomenology

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