The phenomenography tradition in the study of classroom teaching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Phenomenography is internationally well-known for its use in studying learning and teaching in educational settings. This paper begins with the discussion of two approaches reported in the literature to study classroom teaching in the phenomenography tradition. The paper goes on to put forward a third approach that is in essence to return to the original idea of phenomenography and use observation of teaching activities for identifying the qualitatively different ways of seeing the object of learning. Observational data are collected and analysed by categorizing the teaching activities according to the ways of seeing that emerge from the data. This approach has been developed from a number of our projects on learning to teach Chinese. In this paper, the focus of the discussion is on the differences in the methodological assumptions underlying the three approaches to study teaching in the phenomenography tradition. Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Research and Method in Education
Early online dateSep 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 2018


educational setting

Bibliographical note

Lam, H. C. (2018). The phenomenography tradition in the study of classroom teaching. International Journal of Research & Method in Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1743727X.2018.1518417


  • Classroom teaching
  • Conceptions of teaching
  • Methodological assumptions
  • Phenomenography
  • And variation theory