Critical Incident Assignment

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Portfolio – A description and analysis of up to 3 critical incidents encountered on school Experience A that you consider to be teaching dilemmas

In this assignment, I will analyse and reflect on a critical incident that I was confronted with during school experience A (here after will be referred to as SEA). I will reflect on the implications that my critical incident has had on my practice and I will relate it to theory. In addition, I will make reference to four approaches of analysis which have been outlined by Tripp (1993). Tripp’s four approaches focus on the why challenge, personal theory, thinking strategies and dilemma identification. I will examine these four approaches and discuss the ways in which I can develop my teaching practice. Moreover, I will outline further recommendations for my future practice which will be suggested throughout this assignment.

Pollard (2008) points out that reflection can help to develop the quality of teaching and it provides children with valued learning experiences. In addition, being reflective allows one to analyse and consider ways to improve their professional development. Nonetheless, Cottrell (2005) argues that there can be barriers to critical thinking because some may assume that it is a negative activity. Therefore, one may feel that it is only necessary to make positive comments rather than seeking for areas of development. Consequently, this does not lead to or provide constructive criticism for areas to become a better practitioner (Cottrell, 2005). However, in my opinion, I think that it is important to reflect on and be critical of my teaching practice for the reason that I can learn from what I have done, and consider ways to progress in my future practice. Tripp (1993) advocates that reflective teaching is crucial because it enables one to evaluate the decisions that they have made, and consider ways to develop and progress in their professional development. During my first placement, I was confronted with a critical incident which led me to make a decision based on my professional development.

During my maths lessons, child x (an English as an additional learner) continuously shouted out without putting his hands up whenever I asked the class questions. His disruptive behaviour unsettled my teaching as well as the children’s’ learning which I found quite difficult to deal with. Every time that he shouted out, I immediately informed him that I would not accept his answer because he did not have his hand up. Nonetheless, he would take that opportunity to continue to shout out without putting his hands up. This limited their ability to focus and listen to the lesson that I was teaching. Consequently, to minimise the possibilities of child x disturbing further lessons, I decided that he would sit with the teaching assistant (who spoke the same language as child x) so that he would become less disruptive. Upon reflection, I think that I should have firmly implemented the behaviour management strategy by being stricter. In addition, I could have immediately given child x a warning for shouting out. Nonetheless, I have realised that I did not have as much confidence during my first placement as I would have desired. During my dilemma, it was at that point that I had think about and question my teaching strategies to consider reasons behind child x’s disruptive behaviour during my lessons.

Thinking strategies
Tripp (1993) highlights that thinking strategies help reflective thinkers to gain a deeper understanding of a critical incident. When we think about critical incidents, we must consider non-events which reinforce the idea that when something has happened, this usually means that other things have not happened. In relation to my critical incident, I considered what had happened with child x rather than reflecting what had he did not do. Nonetheless, as I reflect on this critical incident, I have realised that if I thought about what did not happen with...
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