The positive side: an inquiry into mind-wanderingùin tea-ching-learning situations


  • Nadia Dario Pensamultimedia
  • Luca Tateo



The article addresses an overlooked topic in the field of educational sciences: teachers’ experience about mind-wandering, and presents a study that analyzes the dynamics of the psychic phenomenon by a combination of a new methodology and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). First, we present the phenomenon of mind-wandering as a relevant object of study, then we suggest that it can play a positive role in teaching-learning activities.
We aim to provide a richer picture of the process that is commonly under-stood as a shift in attention. Through the discussion based on real-life field study on seven primary and secondary Italian school teachers, we show how mind-wandering is a relevant psychological phenomenon, a space of exploration and reflection where teachers rethink completely their role with regard to the students, and reconsider their mental process engaged in planning their own work. Thanks to the proposed methodology, one can gain a deeper access to teachers’ subjectivity, both as individuals absorbed in learning situations but also in their experiences, beliefs, images and social representations of mind-wandering that are connected to a specific cultural context, fieldwork, and activities of meaning construction.




How to Cite

Dario, N. ., & Tateo, L. (2020). The positive side: an inquiry into mind-wanderingùin tea-ching-learning situations. Formazione & Insegnamento, 18(3), 255–276.