Phenomenological research traditionally involves multiple focused interviews that rely on the participants’ memories and reflections to revisit experiences. There are many other interview formats that have the potential to support participants in this process by instead engaging with the phenomenon as it presents itself to their consciousness. In this paper, I present an example of how multiple interview formats, including think-aloud, stimulated recall, and semi-structured were used in a hermeneutic phenomenology study exploring expert teachers’ perceptions of teaching literacy within their content area to secondary students with learning disabilities. I provide example protocols in which I used multiple interview formats (i.e., think-aloud, stimulated recall, and semi-structured) to help participants engage with the phenomenon in ways that did not rely on memory and reflection alone. I describe how the data collected during different interview formats were analyzed using hermeneutic phenomenological methods. Finally, I highlight one participant’s findings, discussing how each interview contributed to the findings, and providing illustrative examples of how going beyond semi-structured formats helped this participant revisit experiences in ways that new meaning emerged and enhanced understanding of the phenomena.


Teachers, Hermeneutic Phenomenology, Interviewing

Author Bio(s)

Alexandra A. Lauterbach is an assistant professor of special education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her scholarly interest centers on effective literacy instruction for students with high incidence disabilities, and effective professional development for teachers of such students. She also examines the connection between secondary instruction, inclusive environments, and post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: alauterbach@educ.umass.edu.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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