I learned astonishing things about the international spread of phenomenological pedagogy on a recent research trip to Beijing (China). I was invited to give a keynote at the 4. International Phenomenology and Pedagogy Conference “Circumstance of Phenomenology and Pedagogy: Self-consciousness and Reflection” at the Capital Normal University (CNU). For more than 20 years, there has not only been a strong phenomenological tradition but also an International Research Center for Phenomenological Pedagogy and Teacher Development.

The center was founded in 2001 by Professor Hong Ning in close cooperation with Max van Manen. Besides Hong Ning, Professor Cai Chun and Professor Zhu Xiaohong are currently the directors of the center. In Beijing, there is a very interested group of lecturers and students. A number of phenomenologically oriented Masters and PhD theses have already been written. They deal with foundational-theoretical and methodological questions of education. In addition, the curriculum of teacher training in all subjects is phenomenologically oriented. It also includes impressive textbooks of phenomenological descriptions of teaching experiences with a focus on the pupils. Several Chinese colleagues will attend to our 5th International Symposium on Phenomenological Research in Berlin. I am looking forward to a productive exchange!

Malte Brinkmann