Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In our secondary faculty meetings recently we spent several weeks discussing through 'critical incidents'. These were classroom scenarios, some real and some fictitious, that provided opportunities to refine our professional judgment by discussing the situation from many different angles.

What makes the incidents 'critical' is not their seriousness--many were routine or mundane situations--but the critical approach we took to discussing them. They were situations subjected to detailed and systematic critique and analysis. The goal was not preparation for these situations specifically, but the refining of a professional judgment adaptable to the many and varied situations that teachers encounter. 

Below is one of the critical incidents we discussed and the form with the kinds of questions we worked through. The right hand column contains some of the questions and comments that teachers raised during our discussion. 

Critical Incident 7:  The Students With a Concern

A small group of high school students respectfully approached the headmaster with a concern. They said that one of their teachers was addressing what they considered minor problems (e.g. students arriving late to class) in what felt to them to be a public way, thus setting a negative tone for the class as a whole. They wondered what could be done about this situation.

Incident Discussion Comments
and Questions
What happened?
-Students not parents came to Head w/ issue—why?

-Which students? Same as ‘offenders’?

What made it happen?
-Had they discussed this with the teacher?

-Are standards clear? Are procedures clear?

What does it do?

What does it feel like?
-What about our motivations? Irritations?  -Staying objective =supportive?

-How ‘respectful’ were they?

-How do they arrive late--attitude, actions?


What does it mean?
-They think ‘minor'—do they understand the importance of these situations?

Why did (does) it occur?
-Is there something in the school that causes this?

-Are expectations clear?

What  is it an
example of? (e.g. practice, action, etc.)
What additional data is needed?
-What follow up actions?

-Is it only certain students being called out?

-How often?

Does it contribute to the mission? Does it support the POG? Is it classical? Is it Christian?
Is it true? Is it just?
What does it model or shape?
-Was this ‘initiate respectful dialog' (Portrait of Graduate language) or complaining?

-What was the tone?

-What result?

No comments:

Post a Comment