‘Where no man has gone before!’ – Exploring new knowledge in design-based research projects: A treatise on phenomenology in design studies


  • Peter F. E. Sloane University of Paderborn




first-person-perspective, life-world-approach, participating in daily life, phenomenological movement and DBR, phenomenological reduction


Design-based research (DBR) is a programme where researchers co-operate with practitioners to work out new solutions. In DBR researchers interfere in daily life and participate in practitioners’ working processes. One open question is: What kind of knowledge can be generated in these projects? My starting point here is a DBR project in vocational education and training in Germany which is used for an investigation of the epistemological background of this kind of research enterprise. The characteristics of DBR are reflected on the basis of phenomenological and hermeneutical approaches. The basic assumptions of these concepts are introduced and applied to the DBR approach to show how DBR generally works and how, specially, features of DBR like participation in daily life, co-operation with practitioners, gathering knowledge in the field a. s. o. can be handled.

The line of argumentation in this contribution is a radical switch between practical questions in daily work in DBR on one hand and theoretical re-assurance on the other hand. For researchers, DBR is an enterprise in a new world. The analytical paradigm does not prepare the voyagers for this journey. Therefore the non-analytic continental tradition of philosophy has to be re-discovered.

Author Biography

Peter F. E. Sloane, University of Paderborn

Peter Sloane is full professor of Business and Human Resource Education at the University of Paderborn, Germany. He is also a Research Fellow at University of Oxford, Department of Education (since 2013) and an Appointed Professor, University of Leeds (since 2014), UK. His research focuses on design projects, designing vocational education and training (VET)  (didactic approach in VET: cross-curricular learning, self-regulated learning, action-based learning), learning approaches in VET (Institutional background and governance of VET), teachers` professional development, human resource education, and in-company training (teaching and learning in enterprises, qualification of trainers, work-based learning, human resource management).




How to Cite

Sloane, P. F. E. (2017). ‘Where no man has gone before!’ – Exploring new knowledge in design-based research projects: A treatise on phenomenology in design studies. EDeR. Educational Design Research, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.15460/eder.1.1.1026



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