My race is run … and won!

It has come to pass. After six years – including personal challenges and a global pandemic (!) – I have successfully completed and defended my PhD at Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada. I’m still in a bit of shock (the good kind) and very grateful to be savouring life on the ‘other side of the finish line.’

I feel very satisfied with what I researched, wrote up and presented about ‘the nature of learning’ as explored through the lens of phenomenology and I hope to continue extending my scholarship in this subject. Ultimately, I think the empirical-objectivist psychological determinants of learning, as first explained in the mid-late 1800s, are myopic and do not shed light on the subjective character of human learning. Human-science researchers like Carl Rogers and Rollo May and educator-authors like John Dewey, John Holt and even Charlotte Mason of the Victorian era offered many insights into subjective learning but their voices were barely heard above the din raised for standardized educational practices that essentially vanquished the individual person. This standardization movement in education continues to dominate educational praxis and I sincerely believe our society is the poorer for this. On concluding this phase of my research I fervently hope the ‘personalized learning’ movement of today continues to gain traction in educational jurisdictions, worldwide. That’s where I’ll continue to add my voice and now my research.

I thank my valiant fieldwork research participants and all of you who offered me your support on my journey, including on the late-night dark and stark ferry sailings from the mainland back to the Sunshine Coast and in other ways, too.

Oh, and please contact me if you’d a copy of my dissertation: Insight-Out: A phenomenological exploration of the nature and appearance of learning.

Mitakuye owass’in (We are all relations), Michael

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