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The internal point of view: studying design students' emotional experience in the studio via phenomenography and ethnography

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Research can be seen as a journey in which the researcher reconstructs perceptions of the phenomena in question as a result, suggesting a new description of the phenomena and, in some cases, a new theoretical perspective as well. This article asserts that the results of such research processes are greatly subjected to the researcher's epistemological stances and methodological decisions. This essential procedure, in which one chooses a method of acquiring knowledge about the examined phenomena, is often described as a set of technical decisions, yet it can go beyond that.

This article will present a way in which methodological discussion can become the core of a meaningful process determining the researcher's path and the view that will be revealed. It will describe such a research journey, which focused on the learning experience of design students and particularly on the role of their emotions in studio courses. Since information on emotions, and their influence on the educational process, is generally concealed, special methodological concern was required. Thus, the article will describe and discuss the qualitative methods used to shed light on the educational process from the students' point of view. The advantages of each research method will be discussed, and the researcher's experiences in using these research methods will be compared.

Keywords: Phenomenography; design education; emotions; ethnography; students' experience

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, I.I.T.

Publication date: June 7, 2007

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