One of the more confusing but compelling terms to which I was exposed during my new student orientation (NSO) at Fielding Graduate University was “phenomenology.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, phenomenology is “the study of the development of human consciousness and self-awareness as a preface to or a part of philosophy.”
As further explained by David Rehorick, Ph.D. during a research practicum at the Fielding NSO, a phenomenological study begins with the question “what are the experiences of…” and explores a return to the lived experiences of the research participants.
In simpler terms, phenomenology is all about our individual experiences and the meaning that can be derived from them. Think of the word in relation to one of its roots: phenomenon — which according to our friends at Merriam-Webster means “an observable fact or event.”
So you might be asking yourself why I mentioned this fact to you — other than to share some knowledge with which I was imparted and intrigued?
Simple: in keeping with my grounded, balanced and somewhat avante garde approach to academics, hearing this phrase reminded me of what now must be an ancient segment from Sesame Street, the “Mahna Mahna” song!
I wasn’t alone in this realization: when our research practicum concluded I immediately grabbed my laptop and searched for this song. Once I found it, I shared the song with a colleague who smiled broadly as I the song began to play.
Perhaps you will agree as well. So, without further delay, I present you with the “Mahna Mahna” song! Watch it below: