Introduction In this assignment, I have chosen two critical incidents in which I will analyse, reflect and draw conclusions. I will briefly discuss the models in which I have chosen to analysis my incidents with and critique their tools. A Critical incident is something we interpret as a problem or challenge in a context, rather than a routine occurrence. The incident is said to be critical because it is valuable and has some meaning. Pollard (2008) points out that reflection can help to develop the quality of teaching. In addition, being reflective allows one to analyse and consider ways to improve professional development. Nonetheless, Cottrell (2017) 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. 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.One incident in which I will critically analyse in my first essay using option A of BG choices. Was a time in which I confronted during my school placement and the other is option C which is a reason I got into teaching. I will reflect on the implication that my critical incidents have had on my practise and I will relate it to theory. Therefore in addition, within one critical incident I will make reference to this analysis which has been outlined by Tripp (1993) using all 4 approaches and in my second incident I will analysis Gibbs, Reflective Cycle Model (1988) in which will examine the ways in which I can develop my teaching practice.Essay 1 – Option A Should Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) Be Included in Mainstream Education Provision? In this essay I will discuss my critical incident that happened to me whilst I was on my school placement, I will be using Gibbs reflective cycle model (1998) to help me analyse the incident as I feel that this is a simple model, which is well structured and easy to use. The Gibbs (1988) model of reflection suggests that the process of reflection is systematic and follows a number of specific steps in order to be successful. This model of reflection is a type of formal reflection, which draws on research and puts forward a theory as to how most effectively put into practice to process of reflection. The process can be broken down into six key steps:1. Description: this step explores the context of the event and covers fine details such as who was present at the event, where it happened and what happened.2. Feelings: this step encourages the reflector to explore their thoughts and feelings at the time of the event.3. Evaluation: this step encourages the nurse to make their own judgement about the event and to consider what went well and what went less well about the event.4. Analysis: this step delves even deeper into reflection on the event and encourages the nurse to break the event down into smaller episodes in order to facilitate analysis.5. Conclusions: this step explores the potential alternatives that may be used to deal with the situation that is being reflected upon.6. Action Plan: this is the final step in the reflection process. The action plan is put into place in order to deal more effectively with the situation if or when it may arise again.Step 1: Description My incident happened when I was on my self-arranged placement. I was in a Year 2 class, it was in a class of 26 pupils and in that class, there was one child with Down Syndrome that had severe hearing and vison problems. Children with the condition are generally slower to learn skills such as reaching, sitting, standing walking and talking. Unfortunately for the child she also was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder which affects her social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. The child was unable to partake in any of the activities that the other children were doing and had to one on one care at all times, this will be a continuous thing throughout school life. During a lesson the SEND child would not sit down at a table and started climbing on the furniture, she then had to be led by the TA outside of the classroom for a walk. Step 2: FeelingsI was confused when it happened I didn’t understand why she was behaving this way. After I thought more about why this incident may have occurred and why she was in the class considering her circumstances. Not only was she disturbing other pupils. What was she getting from being in that class? Could she be placed in a school with specific help for her needs? (specialised help). Could she be somewhere with other pupils with the same ability / peers with same ability level? Or is she benefiting from that class to build her social awareness? And where all parties included when discussing what is best for the child? Some of the many questions that where going through my head at the time of incident.Step 3: EvaluationI was neither happy or unhappy, I was more confused with a bunch of questions. As I know how appropriate it was to ask specific questions on that child. This incident was something that was out of my control, as I lack experience with SEN it was not my job nor duty to take her elsewhere and quite frankly I would not have known what to do. As this left class without teaching assistant I helped out where I could with other children. I also, without bombarding the teacher asked questions such as child disabilities etc and anything she was able to disclose to be so maybe this would help my understanding more about the situation as on first impressions I would have said she should not be in mainstreamed school she needs extra supported help. I also during this week asked to go and spend time with child and TA during one lesson where she brought her into a private room to see if I could gain better understanding of the child. (FOR/AGAINST SEN CHILDREN BEING IN MAINSTREAMED SCHOOLS)Step 4: ConclusionNot to jump to conclusion based on disability, getting to build a relationship with each individual child and getting to know their back ground and capabilities. Why was she placed in the mainstreamed school? What is her back ground? What is she benefiting from it if any?Step 5: Action PlanMy action plan is if this was to occur again and I was in a situation I would defiantly not jump to a conclusion without doing my research. If I am the given teacher of that child then it would be my responsibility to know as much information on the SEND child as possible to give them the best school experience if in mainstreamed or not. ‘ Its looking out for every child’s best interest’. Disadvantages of using the reflective model;A more critical approach can be required. The questions provided by this model may be too general and in need of refinement to apply to a particular context.- Cycle may not take into account the difference between teaching practice and the requirements or expectations of learners.- (Jasper 2003) Explains that Gibbs’ model comes from an educational context as opposed to a practical context.However Ghaye and Lillyman (2006) state that it is miscontructed as ideal for only negative experiences. On the other hand they emphasise that it its strengths lies with the incorporation of knowledge, feelings and action in one learning cycle. Taking action is the key; Gibbs prompts to formulate an action plan. This enables to look at my practice and see what I would change in the future, how I would develop and improve my own practice.Advantages; – Encourages people to think systematically about the phases of an experience.- Useful basic questions to structure the evaluation of an experience; accessible and straight-forward- Encourages a clear description of an experience or situationConclusion To conclude I believe that Gibbs reflective cycle gives a clear description stage by stage of your reflection of the incident. I will defiantly us this in the future when being reflective on my own work. As I believe Gibbs reflective cycle is clear and precise allowing for description, analysis and evaluation of the experience helping me to make sense of experiences and examines my practice.Gibbs cycle aims to challenge your assumptions, To explore different/new ideas and approaches towards doing or thinking about things, to promote self-improvement by identifying strengths and weaknesses and taking action to address them. Essay 2 – C In this essay I will discuss my critical incident that happened to me before I decided to take on teaching as a career. I will be using Tripps analysis to help me analyse the incident, his analytical approaches allow reflection on teaching situations – ‘the critical incident’ – so that teachers can develop their professional judgments and practices.My Critical Incident It all starts off with when I decided to become a teacher after I went travelling abroad, I went to visit Bali in Indonesia, I spent a few months working with the local schools. And to be honest this was completely just a job for me to get extra money and move on, I never thought in a million years that ‘teaching’ would be a career for me. I taught a lesson on pollution, we spent the whole lesson speaking about different types of pollution and how we can have a cleaner environment. I made this lesson as fun as it could be. Children were enthusiastic and eager to learn more. I asked for group of volunteers and every child in the class wanted to volunteer. We went to the beach as a group to clean up the beaches that where polluted with plastic. All the children enjoyed helping clean up and at this point I felt like I had done a good job I had educated the children and taught them that pollution is bad, and we can do something to change. Even if it is a little it can go a long way. From that point it has made me want to get into teaching as a career, to make a difference, to educate children to not only make them a better human being but to make the world a better place. 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 refer 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.Tripps 4 approachesWhy challengeThis form of analysis allows one to continuously ask questions. ‘why?’ (tripp, 1993, p46). The ‘why challenge’ Tripp (1993) conveys that they are answers to questions that practitioners have, does not necessarily revel or lead to a conclusion that one is seeking for. Nonetheless, asking ‘why’ allows one to reflect and think about their practice and consider possible outcomes that could have arisen. Moreover, Tripp (1993) points out that when we ask questions, our ideas or actions can create either some form of reification or some normative statements which underpins a subjective point of view based on personal beliefs and opinions. ‘We are operating from a deeply held belief which may not be appropriate to our consonant with our other beliefs’ (Tripp, 1993, p.46). Why? forces one to question one’s response to the incident and allows understanding of what underlies the action or professional judgment regarding it. Why did I have such a good feeling about the lesson? Because I felt as if I had done good. Children enjoyed it as much as myself. Why is this important to you? Because I can make a difference. I want to help people. I want to enjoy my career. I believe education is important. Why does it matter? Because you are changing the minds of young children because you ‘can’ make a difference. Why? because you are given the opportunity. Why? Seeking employment because I needed money because I want to live. Why because I want to make a difference with my job. Do something fun. Make a positive change. This analysis can make you think deeper into the incident and give you a conclusion you weren’t expecting. The ‘why’ challenge is a simple approach with in depth results. However, its simplicity belies its ability for revealing assumptions of which you may be unaware.From my incident I can see it has given me a conclusion as to why I believe the lesson was so great and why this is something I would like to do as a career. ‘I had fun educating children’. Thinking strategiesWithin the thinking strategy approach Tripp has broken this down again into non events, plus, minus and interesting, alternatives, possibilities and choices, other points of view, parts and qualities, reversal and omissions. The thinking strategy I think is most appropriate to use for this incident is plus, minus and interesting. Plus, Minus and Interesting Think about your incident:What was good about it? Positive as it shed a light on a cleaner environment and children seems to enjoy it and learn from the situation able to do something different that they wouldn’t learn every day in school (English/maths)What was bad about it?challenging as its something I have never done before teaching or the lesson What was interesting?Making yourself consider +,- and interesting may help you to see your own viewpoint; do you have a tendency to immediately see the positive? – all the positive/negative/interesting points about the situation- alternatives/possibilities/choices which were also available- alternate viewpoints/perspectives/opinions possibly held by othersThis approach is not personally challenging. It doesn’t demand a particularly critical approach, but using these prompts is useful for ensuring that the incident is considered in its entirety, from multiple perspectives. Look into Edward de Bono’s CoRT Thinking programme, for more information on this approach.Could do this one aswell; Alternatives, possibilities and choices: refers to thinking about what could have happened instead of what did happen. Alternatively, I could have checked on the group sooner as I was aware they had not brought in the resources required for the task. Hillier (2005) advises that students may not be intrinsically motivated in such a large class, and learning in groups can end up being slow and limited. When engaging with the other groups, I knew that they were on task, this then leaving me to be able to concentrate on this particular group. When the student asked the question, alternatively I could have sat with her and ‘scaffolded’ her understanding of what was required. By remaining with the student and the group, I could have talked through the questions and prompted them to make the link. There is a possibility here that the questions were not clear regarding the task set, but then all remaining groups Critical incident analysis: reflections of a teacher educator Vol.6. No 1. May 2016 pp. 25-29 26 27 RESEARCH in TEACHER EDUCATION Vol.6. No 1. May 2016 pp. 25-29 worked with it and fed back. A further possibility could be that the student found the questions difficult to read, a need that I may not be aware of. However, the main possibility is that the group work required students to feed back, and it could be that there was a form of anxiety by the students in doing so. Finally, the choice I made to relax the previous requirement that students sit in their presentation groups for this activity may have also been a contributing factor. It was only natural that students should choose to sit with those known to them. However, I felt at that time there would be some ownership and responsibility displayed by students in working to the learning task. The class was also after the weekend; this could have contributed to the ‘forgetting’ of the resource, but also prompted friends to sit with each other to catch up – could I have allowed a ten-minute catch-up moment at the start? I could also have chosen to regroup the students so that they were placed with those that had resources; however, I did not think of this at the time.Dilemma identification- Came from deciding to become a teacher. What are the pros and cons if I decide to take this up as a career?- Advantages – – Disadvantages – This approach assists us by forcing us to view particularly complex or less-that-satisfactory events as created for, rather than by us. Identify the dilemmas which exist within your incident. By considering your decisions, and the decisions of others, from an objective standpoint you are in a better position to uncover the motivations, values and beliefs which underpinned the actions, which links strongly to…Personal theory- What is your opinion on education system?- On teaching?- How can the system be different to make it better?By analysing accepted practices which don’t appear to conflict with your personal theories (those which are embedded without challenge) you can reveal any unhealthy or harmful assumptions which have no place in the supposedly safe and nurturing classroom environment.ConclusionCritical incident analysis has been an empowering and supportive process. It has been useful in navigating through the challenges that educators encounter in the teaching context. Having reflected critically on my incident within the context of teacher education, I have been able to rethink my professional judgment and practice. Through critical analysis I was able to view the experience, crisis, conflicts and dilemmas I and my students are faced with. This also provided a mismatch of my expectations, student expectations, research, and the reality encountered in the teaching environment. It also seems to be a ‘juggle’ between the pedagogic value I have of social constructivism, the learner, the children with whom the learner will come into contact and the complex demands of the teaching profession. This all filters into the role of the teacher educator. Coping with, and learning from, the variety of challenges can change views held by teacher educators. Analysis of this has uncovered a number of challenges for practice, and one cannot deny that the remaining lecture group all participated, therefore not necessarily highlighting issues in the learning and teaching strategy. What it does highlight is the student’s suitability to undertake teacher education programmes, and how this fits in with the wider context. Therefore there are challenges that have to be addressed at a much broader level than the teaching context itself.
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