Phenomenology of surprise in a SoTL scholars' program

  • Michelle Yeo Mount Royal University
  • Karen Manarin Mount Royal University
  • Janice Miller-Young University of Alberta
Keywords: surprise, phenomenology, SoTL, educational development, higher education


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.

Author Biographies

Michelle Yeo, Mount Royal University
Michelle Yeo is the Academic Director of the Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Mount Royal University. Her work focuses on faculty experiences in teaching, SoTL, and lndigenization, as well as student experiences in learning (Canada).
Karen Manarin, Mount Royal University
Karen Manarin is Professor of English at Mount Royal University where she teaches both literature and writing courses. Recent publications include the co-authored Critical Reading in Higher Education: Academic Goals and Social Engagement (Canada).
Janice Miller-Young, University of Alberta
Janice Miller-Young is a Professor and the Academic Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta. In her work and scholarship she strives to narrow the gap between novice/expert thinking in teaching and learning (Canada).


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How to Cite
Yeo, Michelle, Karen Manarin, and Janice Miller-Young. 2018. “Phenomenology of Surprise in a SoTL scholars’ Program”. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 6 (2), 16-28.