The Pedagogy of Momus Technologies: Facebook, Privacy, and Online Intimacy

Max van Manen

Qualitative Health Research, XX(X), 1-10, 2010.

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Abstract

Through cable and wireless connections at home and at work, through Wi-Fi networks and wireless spots in hotels, coffee shops, and town squares, we are indeed connected to each other. But what is the phenomenology of this connection? Technologies of expression such as Facebook, MySpace,Twitter, and other social networking technologies increasingly become like Momus windows of Greek mythology, revealing one’s innermost thoughts for all to see.They give access to what used to be personal, secret, and hidden in the lives of its users, especially the young. In this article I explore the pedagogy of Momus effects of social networking technologies in the way they may alter young people’s experience of privacy, secrecy, solitude, and intimacy. In addition, I examine the forms of contact afforded by instant messaging and texting on wireless mobile technologies such as the cell phone (and its wireless hybrids) for the way young people are and stay in touch with each other, and how intimacies and inner lives are attended to.

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The Phenomenology of Space in Writing Online

Max van Manen & Catherine Adams

Educational Philosophy and Theory, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2009

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Abstract

In this paper we explore the phenomenon of writing online. We ask, ‘Is writing by means of online technologies affected in a manner that differs significantly from the older technologies of pen on paper, typewriter, or even the word processor in an off-line environment?’ In writing online, the author is engaged in a spatial complexity of physical, temporal, imaginal, and virtual experience: the writing space, the space of the text, cyber space, etc. At times, these may provide a conduit to a writerly understanding of human phenomena. We propose that an examination of the phenomenological features of online writing may contribute to a more pedagogically sensitive understanding of the experiences of online seminars, teaching and learning.

 

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Pedagogical Sensitivity and Teachers Practical Knowing-in-Action

Max van Manen

Peking University Education Review, 2008

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Abstract

In everyday life in classrooms, the thousand and one things that teachers do, say, or do-not-do, all have practical pedagogical significance. Not only the objectives or goals of education but also the means and methods used all have pedagogical value and consequences for teaching and learning. This text explores the nature and significance of the practical forms of knowledge that teachers enact in (inter)active situations with their students. Teacher practical knowing-in-action requires pedagogical sensitivity and is described in terms of thoughtfulness and tact, embodied and pathic understanding.

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Phenomenology of Practice

Max van Manen, University of Alberta

Phenomenology & Practice, Volume 1 (2007), No. 1, pp. 11 – 30.

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Abstract

Phenomenology of practice is formative of sensitive practice, issuing from the pathic power of phenomenological reflections. Pathic knowing inheres in the sense and sensuality of our practical actions, in encounters with others and in the ways that our bodies are responsive to the things of our world and to the situations and relations in which we find ourselves. Phenomenology of practice is an ethical corrective of the technological and calculative modalities of contemporary life. It finds its source and impetus in practical phenomenologies of reading and writing that open up possibilities for creating formative relations between being and acting, self and other, interiorities and exteriorities, between who we are and how we act.

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Embodiment, Virtual Space, Temporality and Interpersonal Relations in Online Writing

Catherine Adams and Max van Manen

College Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 4, Fall 2006

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Abstract

In this paper we discuss how online seminar participants experience dimensions of embodiment, virtual space, interpersonal relations, and temporality; and how interacting through reading–writing, by means of online technologies, creates conditions, situations, and actions of pedagogical influence and relational affectivities. We investigate what happens when seminar participants (mostly doctoral and postdoctoral level students) reflect phenomenologically on the meaning of a human experience (phenomenon) that fascinates them. In writing online, participants are engaged in a spatial complexity of virtual experience: the space of the text and the space of the computer screen–these yield access to a non-physical space lying somewhere between the here and the there. We propose that Blanchot’s early work on the imaginal space of the text provides a way of perceiving and raising questions, and a new way of understanding the nature of scripture and orality in technologized contexts and relations of teaching and learning.

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Writing Qualitatively, or the Demands of Writing

Max van Manen

Keynote Address: Third Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Qualitative Methods, 2006

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Abstract

Have you ever said this or heard someone say this: “I have done all of my data analysis— I just have to write it down.” Or, “I just have to write it up”? I will suggest that within the context of phenomenological inquiry, it is not necessarily helpful to try to assist researchers learning “how to write down” their reflections or “how to write up” their results. What should be more helpful is learning “how to write.” Qualitative writing may be seen as an active struggle for understanding and recognition of the lived meanings of the lifeworld, and this writing also possesses passive and receptive rhetoric dimensions. It requires that we be attentive to other voices, to subtle significations in the way that things and others speak to us. In part, this is achieved through contact with the words of others. These words need to touch us, guide us, stir us.

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Researching the Experience of Pedagogy

Max van Manen

Research in Focus, 2002

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In this sketch about some aspects of my research, I should probably start with the term “phenomenology”. Phenomenology is the name for the philosophical tradition that started in Western Europe in the 19th century, and that continues today. But in some countries phenomenology was also taken up by non-philosophers – scholars in education, pedagogy, psychology, psychiatry and other health sciences. In the 1950s this led to what in my native Dutch language is called the “methoden strijd” – literally, a struggle for what methods are most appropriate for studying human phenomena.

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Phenomenological Anthropology in The Netherlands and Flanders

Levering, Bas & Van Manen, Max (2002) Phenomenological Anthropology in the Netherlands and Flanders

In: Tymieniecka, Teresa (ed.)

Phenomenology World-Wide.

Dordrecht: Kluwer Press, (pp. 274-286)

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One of the first to apply phenomenological method in the raised and addressed in different ways by the existential- Netherlands was the Philosopher and linguist Hendrick J. ism of Camus, the Marxism of Sartre, and the ethical Pos (1898-1955). He invited Husserl in 1928 to give the philosophy of Levinas. Finally, some Dutch philosophers so-called Amsterdamer Vortrage (Amsterdam Lectures) seemed especially capable of translating and introducing on phenomenological psychology. But it was not until the sometimes difficult works of French and German after World War II that phenomenology became more philosophical thought to the humanities and the social deeply established in Dutch philosophy. The primary sciences. Some scholars, such as William A. Luypen, Jan sway of influence now came from the south, from France. Hendrik van den Berg, Adriaan Peperzak, and Stephan Strasser, were translated into various languages, partly due to their ability to make the French and German tra- ditions accessible and partly because they did this in Heidegger’s influence was important, but it was espe- cially the French existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Levinas, and in particular Maurice Merleau-Ponty who dominated the philosophical scene in the Netherlands and Flanders.

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Moral Language and Pedagogical Experience

Max van Manen

Journal of Curriculum Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, 315-327, 2000.

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Abstract

As educators are challenged to develop a moral vocabulary of teaching, such a language needs to be sensitive to the way that pedagogical relations are lived and experienced. This exploration into the meanings of care offers a phenomenological puzzle. It concerns the relation between, on the one hand, commonly accept and professionally received meanings of the ethical concept of care as we find it in the parental, philosophical, and curriculum literature and, on the other hand, the lived experience of caring. The language of care in the field of commerce and in the helping professions tends to pass over these subtle and deeply-felt sensibilities. It seems that for many parents and teachers caring commonly means worrying. Caring is experienced as worrying responsibility. Buy this worry (‘sorgen’ in German) is often neglected for happier or more acceptable understandings of care. This should make us wonder about what happens when language turns professional and theoretical, when it becomes charged with meanings that in everyday life are not always recognizable, and when it becomes discharged of meanings that are existentially at its very centre.

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The Pathic Nature of Inquiry and Nursing

Van Manen, M. (1999) The pathic nature of inquiry and nursing.

In: Madjar, Irena and Walton, Jo (editors). Nursing and the Experience of Illness: Phenomenology in Practice. London: Routledge. pp. 17-35.

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WHEN WE GET to know someone or something really well we sometimes use a special name, a nick name. A nick name is really a name over and above the name that something or someone already carries. The original meaning of sur- name (French surnom) is that it is a re-naming, the placement of a second name above or on top (sur) the first name.i With the nick name we indicate our special relation to something or someone. We make our world knowable by giving names, assigning labels to them. But nicknames and proper names serve a special function. They (re-)name the often more subjectively felt meanings of our relations with others

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Modalities of Body Experience in Illness and Health

Van Manen, M. (1998) “Modalities of body experience in illness and health,”

Qualitative Health Research: An International, Interdisciplinary Journal.

Sage Periodicals PressVol 8, No. 1, pp. 7-24.

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Abstract

How do we experience our body in illness or health? This is a question that can easily comprise a book-length study. In this article a selection of basic distinctions are explored that may be especially appropriate for pursuing this question. Increasingly the health science professional is becoming aware that people require not only healthcare assistance, surgical intervention, or pharmaceutical treatment, but that the professional must be much more involved in the way that people experience and live with their problems in a different, sometimes deeply personal and unique manner. It is argued that nursing especially is involved in helping the patient, the elderly, the disabled, or the person who for reasons of circumstance is out of step with the body, to recover a liveable relation with his or her psycho-physical being.

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Phenomenological Pedagogy and the Question of Meaning

Max van Manen

In: D. Vandenberg (ed.) Phenomenology and Educational Discourse. (1996) Durban: Heinemann Higher and Further Education. pp. 39-64

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Phenomenological Pedagogy

‘Phenomenological pedagogy’ is the name for a unique phase in West European educational thought of the period from roughly 1940-1970. The Dutch tradition of phenomenological pedagogy is associated primarily with the names of Langeveld, Beets, Vermeer, Perquin, and Strasser–they were unofficial members of the so-called Utrecht School. About Beets I will say more shortly. Vermeer was especially known for her phenomenological study of play in understanding children, and Perquin was a Catholic scholar at the University of Nijmegen, whose work echoes much of Langeveld’s insightful pedagogical writings. Strasser’s writings (1963) stood somewhat outside of this circle since he employed a more analytical philosophical style.

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On the Epistemology of Reflective Practice

Max van Manen

Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice Vol. 1, No. 1, 1995.

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Schön (1987) has suggested that professional education undervalues practical knowledge and grants privileged status to intellectual scientific and rational knowledge forms that may only be marginally relevant to practical acting. This is not just an issue of sociology of knowledge. The literature of teaching and teacher education has shown that professional practices of educating cannot be properly understood unless we are willing to conceive of practical knowledge and reflective practice quite differently. It is for this reason that I would like to raise some questions about the meaning and place of practical reflection in teaching and about the relation between knowledge and action in teaching, the kind of teaching that is educational or pedagogical.

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Pedagogy, Virtue, and Narrative Identity in Teaching

Max van Manen

Curriculum Inquiry, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1994

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On the Meaning of Pedagogy and its relation to Teaching

When students are asked about their experiences with teachers, their anecdotes reveal that classroom interactions are always relational; teachers and students cannot help but stand in certain relations to each other.

Again

As Mrs. Gogo bent over to pick up a pencil you could hear the guys’ jaws drop. But Mrs. Gogo did not notice. She looked tired due to the fact that she sang in a small band many nights of the week. She had just finished teaching us how to solve equations and she was walking around checking that we were working. Just as I completed our assignment I noticed Sarah raise her hand.

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Pedagogical Text as Method: Phenomenological Research as Writing

Max van Manen

Saybrook Review, Vol. 7, No.2, 1989.

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Some people speak of method greedily, demandingly; what they want in work is method; to them it never seems rigorous enough, formal enough. Method becomes a Law… the invariable fact is that a work which constantly proclaims its will-to-method is ultimately sterile: everything has been put into the method, nothing remains for the writing; the researcher insists that his text will be methodological, but this text never comes: no surer way to kill a piece of research and send it to join the great scrap heap of abandoned projects than Method.” (Barthes, 1986, p. 318)

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