Phenomenology of Surprise in a SoTL Scholars' Program

Michelle Yeo, Karen Manarin, Janice Miller-Young


Faculty members participating in a year-long Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) development program experienced various surprises as transformational events. This study is a phenomenological exploration of these surprises. We use Dastur’s (2000) understanding of surprise as a phenomenological event that allows for changed perception and the possibility of a different future through an altered state of being in the world. Four different categories of surprise are explored: surprise that doing SoTL changed teaching, surprises about students, surprises about SoTL and the research process, and finally, surprises about communities and disciplines.


surprise, phenomenology, SoTL, educational development, higher education

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Teaching & Learning Inquiry is the official journal of the
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL)