1st Edition

Generating Tact and Flow for Effective Teaching and Learning

    166 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    166 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book draws from and analyzes teachers’ and students’ stories of great classes in order to promote teachers’ development of pedagogical tact and to encourage flow states for students. Taken together, these theoretical lenses—pedagogical tact and flow—provide a valuable framework for understanding and motivating classroom engagement. As the authors suggest, tactful teachers are more likely to see their students in flow than teachers who struggle with basic classroom routines and practices. Grounded in narrative research, and written for pre-service teachers, the book offers strategies for replicating these first-hand accounts of peak classroom teaching and learning.

    1: Introduction and Invitation;     2: Theoretical Framework and Methodology ;   3: Stories of Pure Enjoyment ;   4: Stories of Forgetful Attention ;   5: Stories of Teachers’ Decision-Making ;   6: Stories of Time Flying ;  7: Stories of Student Feedback ;   8: Stories About Steps Teachers Take ;   9: Big Ideas from Short Stories


    Susanna M. Steeg Thornhill has been an educator for 20 years in elementary, undergraduate, and doctoral classrooms in the United States and abroad. She has cultivated expertise in literacy education, teacher education, and qualitative research methods. She especially enjoys interacting with dedicated educators who constantly seek to improve educational outcomes for learners.

    Ken Badley lives in Calgary, Alberta, and teaches foundations of education at Tyndale University in Toronto, Ontario. He has taught in secondary, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in Canada and the United States, and has worked extensively with teachers in Kenya.

    In these times in which teachers are often discouraged, Thornhill and Badley give us hope and a way forward. This text features the stories of teachers who demonstrate flow and tact in their work. And indeed, flow (Csikszentmihalyi) and tact (van Manen) provide the key frameworks through which the stories are analyzed. The authors present here a possible antidote to discouragement: "understanding what happens in flow moments for teachers who are tactfully and thoughtfully engaged." In our understanding, we can celebrate those moments, and reproduce them more faithfully.

    Scot Headley

    Professor of Education

    George Fox University

    This book will delight teachers who love teaching. They have bad days as well as good days but they have come to know that the good days, the magic classroom moments, do come when they and their students are again and again surprised by joy. The authors use the bifocal lenses of the concepts of tact and flow to help the reader to not only enjoy the stories shared by the teacher contributors but also to reflect upon them and learn from them for their own practice. A gem of a book!

    John Shortt

    Professor, Liverpool Hope University

    If you are looking to better understand how teachers describe and reach their "magical days" in the classroom, then this text is for you. This is a refreshing must-read teacher education contribution that thoughtfully describes the magic teachers experience via the concepts of tact and flow. I applaud Thornhill and Badley for putting the teacher's and teacher educator’s voices at the center. I was truly inspired by all their magical stories. Overall, the authors offer a perfect balance of theory and practice that will help the reader to better appreciate and recognize their own tact and flow.

    Charlotte Frambaugh-Kritzer

    Director, Institute for Teacher Education Secondary

    Associate Professor of Secondary Reading, University of Hawai'i at Manoā


    This book is an exciting read for anyone who wants to understand the synergy that emerges in peak learning experiences. Written in an engaging narrative style, Badley and Thornhill use Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow and van Manen’s concept of tact as a way of describing the complex conditions which can be created by teachers to allow these moments to occur. It would be transformative for education if these experiences were understood to be an ‘entitlement’ for all students"

    Ruth Crick

    Professor, University of Technology, Sydney

    Director, Jearni Ltd, Edinburgh.