Changing foci and expanding horizons- some reflections on directions for phenomenography and variation theory

Bruce, Christine S. (2006) Changing foci and expanding horizons- some reflections on directions for phenomenography and variation theory. In Phenomenography and variation theory the ways forward, 7-9 December 2006, University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Education, Hong Kong, China. (Unpublished)


This paper documents my journey of reflection, as I consider the way forward for phenomenography and variation theory. In the first half of the paper, I analyse my personal experience of phenomenography and variation theory, and explore some aspects of their development. My own professional journey suggests that phenomenography and variation theory have the potential to transform learning and teaching at every level; and have the potential to transform disciplines as colleagues begin to take an interest in understanding variation in the experience of phenomena related to their discipline. In the second half of the paper, I explore socio-political and methodological directions. I propose that the currently minor themes of growing teacher-researchers and fostering discipline-based research are likely to become more dominant; and that continuing emphases on phenomenography and variation theory will shed new light on our continuing conversations and debates in the university environment. Phenomenography is also becoming established as a well respected qualitative/interpretive research approach in the wider arena. We need to continue to strengthen the research approach, including establishing its interrelationship with variation theory, to make it more readily useable by colleagues engaged in ‘discipline’ research, and by teacher-researchers.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,179 since deposited on 27 Feb 2007
395 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 6305
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Phenomenography, variation theory, qualitative research methods, HERN
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Christine S. Bruce
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:07

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page