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Volume 22Number 2 publication date:Dec. 2009
A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Inquiry and Reflection on the Experience of Examination for Ninth Graders
    Author:Hui-Ju Hsu
Research Article


Examination taking experience can be regarded as the collective memories for all of us when we were students; however, few researches focused on students’ lived experience of examination. The purpose of this study was to seek and understand the examination taking experience of junior high school students. Hermeneutic phenomenology was adopted as the research methodology to discover and interpret the essence and hidden meanings behind the examination taking experiences, and reflect upon teachers’ teaching practice. Thematic analysis was used to identify and clarify the themes. Six essential themes were identified as follows: First, examinations encircle students’ world where all the people (including students, parents and teachers) are alienated. Second, in such lived world, students suffer strong emotion laden experiences. Third, exams may be experienced as numbers and have a great effect on people’s cognition and identification. Fourth, examinations are just like the process of producing economic goods. Fifth, examinations oppress student entities, and as a result, students resist to learn. Sixth, the examination and cheating coexist and become teachers’ and students’ survival tactics. Finally, a pedagogical discussion aims to remind educators about the need to reflect on their examination practices.

Keywords: hermeneutic phenomenology, examination experience, thematic analysis

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