A philosophy of boredom in education

Taejin BAE

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


In this study I address the problem of boredom. The main question, arising from this problem, which I address is “what is the educational meaning of boredom in the modern schooling system?” In addressing this question my thesis is that boredom should not be demonized but rather redeemed in contemporary curriculum studies, and, to this end, there is a need for a paradigm shift in its conceptualization. My aims and purpose in this study are thus to understand the real nature of boredom in the modern schooling system, and to suggest the practical (praxial) implication in classroom. The research context of this study is in the domain of philosophy and theorizing of curriculum; especially based on philosophical phenomenology and Hannah Arendt’s existential theory. I start with the explanation and justification of the subject centered / thematic approach curriculum inquiry as research theory assuming that, as normal phenomena of human life and child development, not everything in boredom is negative and should be eliminated and have more profound and positive meanings. This thesis employs a philosophical methodology with a focus on document analysis and exemplifying understanding (Beispielverstehen). My results show that there are also profound and positive dimensions of boredom such as driving force, reproduction, reflection, and creativity that can lead to educational development, and from these I formulate a multi-dimensional conceptual framework of boredom in curriculum. The significance of this study lies in its contribution to an almost non-existent in-depth theoretical engagement with boredom in contemporary education. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • ADAMSON, Robert Damian, Supervisor
  • PARK, Jae Hyung 朴宰亨, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Boredom
  • Conducivity
  • Curriculum philosophy
  • Natality
  • Rebirth
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2020.


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