In all levels of education, teachers’ abilities to deal with complex classroom situations in split-seconds concerns pedagogical tact, a crucial quality which relies, in part, on intuition. Developing the ability to appropriately handle the complexity of classroom situations requires a systemic approach. This study aimed to explore the experiences in and effects of a systemic-phenomenological professional development program for enhancing teacher abilities to handle complex (classroom) situations through conscious attention for intuition. In the present study, 64 teachers from primary, secondary, and higher education participated in a 12 week professional development program featuring systemic-phenomenological exercises, such as meditations and embodied simulations. By increasing understanding of the complexity of social systems and sensitizing awareness of intuitive signals, the program aimed to improve teachers’ use of intuition, and through that, their handling of classroom situations. Data were gathered through participant reflection logs and focus group discussions, which were analysed both deductively and inductively. The findings suggest that the program helped heighten teacher awareness of intuitions, and individual awareness in the classroom, yielding positive effects on teacher abilities to take appropriate split-second action in complex classroom situations. While further research is needed, the results of this study include practices for enhancing teacher awareness of intuition through systemic-phenomenological exercises which proved to be promising, and a taxonomy of effects related to pedagogical tact in the classroom.
- Pedagogical tact
- Teacher professional development program
- Systemic-phenomenological exercises