Lienhard School of Nursing Hosts Internationally Renowned Phenomenological Researcher Dr. Max van Manen

On June 12, Pace College of Health Professions’, Lienhard School of Nursing hosted a three-day workshop featuring world renowned phenomenology researcher Max van Manen, PhD, professor emeritus and distinguished scholar at the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, University of Alberta.  Dr. van Manen, “Max,” is the author of numerous books, including The Phenomenology of Practice and Researching Lived Experience.  The workshop, entitled The Phenomenological Research Methods and Pedagogy, provided participants the opportunity to advance their research and teaching skills.

Working as a father-son team, “Max” worked side by side with his son Michael, an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Canada.  Michael is a physician in neonatal-perinatal medicine and his current research program is focused on the experiential life of the newborn, the use of medical technologies in clinical encounters, and parental experiences in critical care.

Phenomenology is the philosophical name for investigating the meaning of our lived experiences and is used to help us gain insight and be more thoughtful in regard to the human experience.  It is a valuable tool for nurses and other health science researchers as it supports the development of knowledge and guides clinicians toward a person-centered approach. The workshop drew 38 participants from the US, Canada, Denmark, and Columbia, and included faculty, researchers, and PhD students

Coordinated by Pace professors, Rhonda Maneval, EdD, RN,  Executive Associate Dean for Academic Nursing, Keville Frederickson,  EdD, RN, FAAN, , and Eileen Engelke, EdD, RN, CNE, RN-BS the workshop included sessions on “Phenomenology in its Original Sense,” “Phenomenology and the Digital,” and “Intersections of Phenomenology and the Empirical Sciences,”

“As someone who had previously attended multiple workshops at the Institute of Qualitative Research in Alberta, attendance at this conference reinforced for me that phenomenology is not only a philosophical perspective and a research methodology, but it is also an adoption of a way of life as we become more fully aware of who we are,” said Judith James-Borga, PhD, RN, professor at the Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing, Molloy College. “I came away with heightened respect and admiration for Max and Michael van Manen. For me, an important take away from this conference is the idea that the more we know, the more we don’t know, hence the haunting question of noted neuroscientist David Eagleman: ‘Do you have answer?’ My future qualitative classes will be enhanced by the integration of many of the teaching learning strategies presented here.”

“The experience of learning from Max was one that I will never forget; he is a brilliant philosopher and phenomenologist, as well as an expert teacher,”said Maneval. “Michael, as both a healthcare clinician and researcher, provided incredible exemplars of the method through his research with neonates and children. This type of learning opportunity is very rare, and we are all very grateful that Max made the trip to New York to work with us in this intimate setting.“