Relationships always matter: Findings from a phenomenological research inquiry

David Giles

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reports on findings from a hermeneutic phenomenological research inquiry which explored the nature of relational experiences in teacher education. Stories of the lived experience of relationships in an educational context were hermeneutically interpreted against the philosophical writings of Heidegger, Gadamer, Levinas, and Buber. The research found that relationships are essential to the experience of education whether they are recognised or not. While the relationship matters to the experience, the relationship lies out of sight and is largely taken for granted. On other occasions, the assumption that relationships matter is called into question. In these times, the relationship is a worry to the student and stressful for the teacher. In these moments, concern over the relationship foregrounds the teaching-learning experience for those involved. It is critically important that teacher educators, and teachers alike, become more attentive to how their relationship is with their students individually and collectively. Teacher educators, and teachers alike, need an attunement to notice how relationships are mattering in their immediate context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6
    Pages (from-to)80-91
    Number of pages12
    JournalAustralian Journal of Teacher Education
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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