Postphenomenological Enquiry and Living the Environmental Condition

Phillip Payne


The acknowledgement of at least three “social constructions” crucially relevant to the interests of environmental education highlights the need for keener insights into thefield’s practices. These constructions are the self, nature, and, most significantly for the purposes here, the relations of that self and the various environments he/she experiences. Enquiry of a phenomenological type deals assertively with “constructionism” because of its quest to interpret human experience as it “itself” is “lived” and “structured.”Postphenomenological enquiry can reveal the embodied relations of those socially constructed experiences of self and environment/nature. In exploring the genre ofphenomenological enquiry, this article identifies some of the key socio-ontological signposts, substantive foci, challenges, and predicaments reflective teachers andresearchers should consider in enquiring into the contingent and relational nature of human experience. This critical, postphenomenology responds to the need to incorporateontological considerations into the politics of environmental education research (Robottom & Hart, 1993).

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