« Reg Hanging Out | Main | Reflections - Class #3 and #4 »

Dialogic Phenomenology?

My thoughts keep swirling and swirling -- there is not enough time in the day to explore most of them... however, one of the ideas that keeps coming back is possibly conducting a phenomenological study in our class on students' experiences with the class wiki. This study could help inform instructors' pedagogical practices when considering using a wiki in a graduate level course. Phenomenology strives to understand the meaning of experience, so I believe phenomenology is a good fit for what I want to more fully understand by conducting the research.

Dialogic phenomenology, from what I understand, is focused on the "we" experience rather than an "I" experience. This might be an interesting twist on phenomenology to explore for this possible research, especially because using the class wiki is very much a "we" experience as well as an "I" experience.

I have also done some reading about the role of the researcher in phenomenology to see I could negotiate dual roles (class/study participant and researcher). This dual role does not seem to be a conflict in phenomenology, at least for some phenomenologists. In fact, multiple roles can be an asset.

Excerpt from Polkinghorne (1989):

"Strasser (1969) has proposed that phenomenological research needs to include the experiences of others if solipsism is to be overcome. Emphasizing that the meaning and contents of experience are not withing but between persons, he [Strasser] has proposed a dialogic phenomenology that would search for what we, rather than I experience. The full exploration of the attributes of a meaning structure, he said, requires an understanding of how it operates among us and creates a meaningfully shared experiential world. Spiegelberg (1964) has also argued for a phenomenology through vicarious experience in which descriptions of others are accepted...GIorgi (1985b) has described practical reasons for using descriptions from others in phenomenological psychology..."

- Speigelberg, H. (1976). The phenomenological movement: A historical introduction (2nd ed., Vols. 1 and 2).The Hague: Martinus Hijhoff.
- Strasser, S. (1969). The idea of dialogal phenomenology. Pittsburgh: Dequesne University Press.
- Giorgi, A. (1985b). The phenomenological psychology of learning and the verbal learning tradition. In A. Giorgi (Ed.), Phenomenology and psychological research (pp. 23-85). Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.


Okay - so then this should be your Individual Research Project, at least. If you really want to do the research part of it, you'd have to ge the IRB in etc., but as for the assignments, your research could be examining the research on wikis (if there is any) and use that to inform the actual research project you do in the class. It will kind of have to be a "pilot" - b/c it is not exactly organized given the class has started etc. BUT I think it is fascinating. Let me know when you want to talk more about it.