Nova Southeastern University
Friday, January 12, 2018
Event or Conference:
The Qualitative Report Ninth Annual Conference
Phenomenology of Practice: The Application of Hermeneutic Phenomenology in a Case Study of Middle School Infrastructure This discussion applies Van Manen’s concept of hermeneutic phenomenology to explicate the results of an embedded single-case study I conducted as a middle school assistant principal. The study described the perceptions of teachers, parents, and students regarding the implementation of infrastructure based on middle school design elements proposed by the National Middle School Association. Van Manen observes that phenomenology empowers “subjectivity to radicalize itself and to struggle to dislodge and confront the unexamined assumptions of our personal, cultural, political, and social beliefs, views, and theories” (2014. p. 13). After describing the results of the study, I will apply Van Manen’s method of hermeneutic “epoche’ of bracketing interpretation and explicating reflectively” to explore deeper questions: What was the meaning of my reactions to the results? What could I have done better to implement the designs? What did I learn to become a better school leader? I will argue the importance that professional practitioners apply the art and practice of phenomenological inquiry and self-reflection to describe and improve their work through “thoughtful and tactful action,” as well as “the everyday practice of living (Van Manen, 2014, p. 15).