University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Teacher Education

The development work of phenomenological vignette research was initiated in 2009 through the FWF-funded project "Personal Educational Processes in Heterogeneous Groups" (P-22230-G-17) at the Faculty of Teacher Training at the University Innsbruck by Michael Schratz, Johanna F. Schwarz and Tanja Westfall-Greiter. In this development work, vignettes were established as instruments to capture dimensions of experience of educational phenomena in the most diverse contexts in a phenomenologically oriented and appropriate way. Generated from protocols of experience, they are suitable for capturing and naming educational experiences in medias res and in statu nascendi, as in the midst of events taking place in the field in the presence of the researchers, and for differentiating them in their complexity. In the subsequent second FWF-funded research project (P-225373-G-17), phenomenological anecdotes were used as a tool to help express remembered and narrated learning experiences.

Through collaboration with other research groups in Austria and abroad, it has been possible to locate and continuously develop phenomenological vignette and anecdotal research within the qualitative research paradigm as an innovative methodology for investigating experience-oriented phenomena in educational contexts.

Vignette and anecdotal research is used in a variety of ways in the training and further education of teachers, in school development or in practical research. Work with vignettes and anecdotes is therefore not only firmly anchored in the training of secondary school teachers at the Faculty of Teacher Training at the University of Innsbruck, but is already being used in the context of all training institutions in the Verbund West. The transformative potential of the training is used to teach (prospective) teachers to look at the dimensions of experience of lived practice from a new perspective and to derive new perspectives for (future) pedagogical action.

Within the framework of international projects such as EDITE (European Doctorate in Teacher Education) or Learning from the Best - Learning Effective School Leadership in Excellent Schools of the German School Award (sponsored by the Robert Bosch Stiftung), the approach of vignette and anecdotal research is used on an interdisciplinary basis and disseminated internationally. From October 2020 to March 2021, a project on pedagogical ethos in the professionalization of teachers (sponsored by the Robert Bosch Stiftung) was run in cooperation with the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Vienna and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. The aim of the project was to develop teaching materials to help trainee teachers practise reflecting on their own professional ethos in various domains of overall professional development. These are available to download free of charge as an ELBE manual.

In the cooperation project "Teach4Reach" vignettes are used to explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their application in teacher education.