Enhancing teacher pedagogical tact through intuition: A design study

Gerbert A. Sipman

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Teachers continuously have to be able to act in split-seconds when complex classroom situations arise. This ability, pedagogical tact, is well-recognized yet comparatively little scholarship has been devoted to enhancing it. Because it correlates highly with pedagogical tact, this study was undertaken to develop knowledge on enhancing teacher pedagogical tact through intuition, specifically: to better understand the role of intuition in teacher pedagogical tact; to develop ways to enhance intuition for teacher pedagogical tact; and to ascertain the effects of enhancing intuition on teacher pedagogical tact. Four sub-studies were undertaken alongside the iterative development of a professional development program (PDP). Sub-study A explored how educators give meaning to the role of intuition in relation to teachers' pedagogical tact in ten focus group discussions with stakeholders in primary education (n=56). Sub-study B examined teacher awareness of intuitions through questionnaires and reflection logs of teachers in primary education (n=17), who participated in the pilot PDP aiming to enhance teachers’ awareness of intuitions. Sub-study C explored experiences of eight groups of pre-service and in-service teachers from primary, secondary, and higher education (n=64) who participated in the revised PDP aiming to enhance teacher intuitive pedagogical tact were followed through reflection logs and group discussions. Sub-study D focused on the effects of the final PDP through questionnaires and dyadic interviews of eight groups of participating pre-service and in-service teachers in primary, secondary, and higher education (n=61). Together, these sub-studies provided insights related: clarification of educator needs and wishes for learning about enhancing teacher intuitive pedagogical tact; a usable design framework for enhancing teacher intuition in handling complex classroom situations; and a taxonomy of effects (of enhancing teacher intuition) on teacher intuitive pedagogical tact. Implications for practice, policy, and future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • McKenney, Susan, Supervisor
  • Martens, Rob, Supervisor, External person
  • Thölke, Jürg, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date1 Jul 2021
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5185-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Pedagogical tact
  • Intuition
  • Systemic-phenomenological approach
  • Educational design research


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