Phenomenon-based learning

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Phenomenon-based learning (PhBL) is an indistinct concept with many roots. Its unclear principles are interpreted and implemented in many ways. It is neither a theory nor a method, but it is called an approach. PhBL relates to a pedagogical
way of viewing learners, teachers, and knowledge of the world both distinctly and in their context. PhBL has been shallowly investigated from a theoretical perspective, and the methods by which it is implemented vary. Theoretically the
concept is based on constructivism, pragmatism, and phenomenology. Politically the concept connects to transversal knowledge and twenty-first century skills. Methodically it relates to problem-based learning (PBL), inquiry-based
learning (IBL), phenomenological learning, hermeneutic learning, et cetera. Among the core features of PhBL are that it is interdisciplinary (see ▶ “Transdisciplinary Learning”), student centered, collaborative, and build on authentic problems. In psychological perspectives, learning is linked to the students’ interests and emotions (Lonka 2018). Philosophical perspectives emphasize comprehensive learning situations and seeking answers on ethical and existential questions (Küpers 2012). PhBL takes place in early childhood settings, schools, and in higher education. It relates to phenomenon-based research used in management and organization science (von Krogh et al. 2012), and has been proposed as one answer, even if not the only one, on how to meet the educational challenges of sustainability (see ▶ “Sustainable Development,” ▶ “Sustainable Education”, and ▶ “Sustainability in Curricula (Sustainability Education)”) (Vlieghe and Zamojski 2020; Wolff et al. 2019). PhBL is thus
future oriented, and at its best, it is a transformative prospect (see “▶ Transformative Learning”).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of sustainable management
EditorsSamuel Idowu, René Schmidpeter, Nicholas Capaldi, Liangrong Zu, Mara Del Baldo, Rute Abreu
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date26 Mar 2022
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-02006-4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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