Understanding experience better in educational contexts: The phenomenology of embodied subjectivity.

Malcolm Thorburn, Steven Stolz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We consider in this critical paper that claims that human agents experience things-in-the-world as the same are deeply flawed as these accounts misconstrue and fail to appreciate the phenomenology of embodied subjectivity. To overcome these complex problems we outline how phenomenology can reach beyond positivist and standardized approaches to classroom learning and assessment and offer a broader and more encouraging perspective. We consider that the naturalistic account of subjectivity advanced by Merleau-Ponty provides a theoretically sound basis for understanding experiences better and for embodiment to become more central to educational aims. In developing our position we detail how recognising changes in Merleau-Ponty’s thinking over time are crucial for appreciating the nature of embodied subjectivity. Thereafter, we highlight and exemplify how practical approaches based on a phenomenological reduction of seeking, sensing and seeing could enhance the centrality of embodied subjectivity in contemporary education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Early online date5 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • phenomenology
  • education
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • subjectivity


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