An Invitation to Dialogue: Gadamer, Hermeneutic Phenomenology, and Critical Environmental Education

Ali Sammel

Abstract


This paper invites you, the reader, to co-produce meaning around the possibilities and limitations of what Gadamerian philosophy and hermeneutic phenomenology holds for environmental education research. Gadamerian philosophy and hermeneutic phenomenology is founded on the idea that people make meaning (the hermeneuticaspect) of lived experiences (the phenomenological aspect) through dialogue from a perspective where cognition is a product of a particular time and place. As such, thisphilosophy provided a solid foundation for a study which researched how five high school teachers made sense of, and engaged with, critical environmental education. Thisstudy evolved out of my belief that teachers’ perceptions and practices have been marginalized, excluded, or forgotten in theoretical narratives of critical environmentaleducation. In this paper I will share my experiences engaging with Gadamerian philosophy and hermeneutic phenomenology and introduce what I found to be the nature, limitations and possibilities of this research frame.

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