Critical incident analysis

  1. Ask students to select a critical incident from an experience on teaching practice.
  2. Set up guidelines of trust and confidentiality within the discussion group; make it clear that all comments will stay within the small group for this activity. Explain that it is not about defending or moaning but rather about learning through collaborative analysis.
  3. Allow time for each individual in the group to answer the following questions about their critical incident individually and in writing:
    • Explain what happened;
    • Explain what meaning you have given to it;
    • What were the consequences;
    • What have you learned?
    • What would you do differently if a similar situation arose.
  4. Give time for each student to explain their critical incident and the answers that they have given to the questions and for the rest of the group to engage in discussion to suggest their own solutions and possibly share similar critical incidents which they have experienced.

The benefits of this activity are: it helps diffuse potentially stressful memories; it helps build collaborative practice; it develops professional mutual respect and tolerance.