I work in the area of ‘human science pedagogy’. To call pedagogy a ‘human science’ is to understand it fundamentally in terms of our human existence – our hopes, dreams, joys and disappointments. A human pedagogy is about understanding how we (as adults) find ourselves together in the world with children. In this way, pedagogy is appreciated as a human encounter that is personal, relational and ethical. Human science pedagogy is an alternative to managerial, technical and psychological understandings of pedagogy that tend to abstract us from the existential meanings of our everyday living with children
In particular, my pedagogical interest is phenomenological – the starting point of my understanding of pedagogy is how the classroom is lived and experienced by both teachers and children. My research interest is in elucidating the lived significance and lived meaning of classroom life. The ultimate aim of this line of work is to promote a reflection on how children experience the world of the school. Through such reflection, teachers (and all of us who live with children) are opened to possibilities in which we endeavour to act towards children in thoughtful and sensitive ways – namely, through the exercise of pedagogical tact.
Research | Current
My current research focuses on teachers’ lived experience of the tension between the relational and technical nature of practice. The lives of teachers are dominated by the demands of evidence-based practice. While it is important for teacher practice to be informed by scientifically validated research, the proliferation of evidence-based approaches means that teachers are increasingly reflecting on their practice in technical and rational terms at the expense of reflecting on the personal and relational qualities that are essential in how teachers relate to children. My research aims to explore experiences where teachers have felt that the demands for ‘effective practice’ constrained how they could relate to students in authentic, personal and appropriate ways. My hope is that this work will support teachers to navigate the contemporary demands of teaching in order to maintain a thoughtful, personal and ethical connection with children.
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Arndt, S., Buchanan, R., Gibbons, A., Hung, R., Madjar, A., Novak, R., ... Tesar, M. (2020). Collective writing: Introspective reflections on current experience. Educational Philosophy and Theory10.1080/00131857.2020.1824782
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm, Nina Hood, Marek Tesar
- Peters, M. A., Arndt, S., Tesar, M., Jackson, L., Hung, R., Mika, C., ... Buchanan, R. (2020). Philosophy of education in a new key: A collective project of the PESA executive. Educational Philosophy and Theory, Online first10.1080/00131857.2020.1759194
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sean Sturm, Marek Tesar
- Madjar, A. M. (2016). The pedagogy of a father: Fathers’ school involvement as lived experience The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.