Critical incidents Analysis
In this assignment I will look at two critical incidents in my teaching. I will firstly describe the critical incidents, then relate these incidents to relevant teaching and learning theories and finally explain how these incidents have influenced and changed aspects of my teaching practice. Cunningham describes a critical incident as a situation in working life that causes a ‘significant disturbance’ to our beliefs and the way we practice, and following reflecting upon this event it changes our viewpoint (2008:166).
Consideration of own specialist or context area and appropriate subject specific or context-specific pedagogy
I teach on a music production and business course, which is part of a foundation-learning programme for young people. These programmes are designed for students working at entry level and level 1 and consist of three components: Vocational learning
Personal and social development
Many of the students on this programme have few qualifications, if any, emotional or behavioural issues, learning difficulties or have been out of education for a prolonged period of time.
I teach the vocational subject of the programme. The aim of the course is to develop music production skills, specifically using computer technology alongside many other skills such as working in groups, communication and presentation skills.
The teaching methods that suit teaching this type of learner are based around a lot of practical ‘hands on’ activities. I use a lot of short exercises and tasks that provide the opportunity for feedback. This works especially well because many of my learners get distracted easily and lack motivation. I find by giving them many short tasks with plenty of feedback keeps them focused and motivated.
Critical incident 1
As explained earlier many of the students I teach have a varied range of special educational need, and this incident occurred when teaching a young person with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
I had been made aware before the student started, I understood the problems faced by students with this condition and had some experience with working with students with ADHD. However, this particular student seemed to have a more severe form of ADHD than I had worked with in the past. During lesson time he continually got distracted and disrupted other students during work. I tried to manage this behaviour by staying aware of his condition but also being consistent with reminders to try to focus on his work. Unfortunately this always made him lose his temper and become abusive towards me, which I wrongly in hindsight put up with because of his ADHD.
Over time these constant reminders became rather repetitive and tedious for the both of us. I was becoming increasingly agitated with trying to manage his behaviour and taking abuse and the student was getting upset and felt like he was always being picked on.
Finally the critical incident arose during a class demonstration when he was consistently talking and distracting others while I was taking to the class. I repeatedly told him to stop talking which made him angry, he then became abusive towards me so I asked him to leave the class. He refused to leave the room and after a brief argument I took him out away from the rest of the class.
I tried to explain to him why I had sent him out, but this did not help and he became very angry and aggressive towards me the longer the conversation went on. It got to the point where I asked him to go home and he was suspended until he had a meeting with the course manager because he was being very rude and threatening towards me, but this just made him angrier. He began shouting at me and at this point one of my colleagues had to intervene and took him away to calm down.
After a brief period the colleague that took the student away asked me if I could come and speak to the student because...
References: Armitage, A., Bryant, R., Dunnill, R., Hayes, D., Hudson, A., Kent, J., Lawes, S., and Renwick, M. (2007) Teaching and Training in Post-Comulsory Education. Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Cunningham, B. (2008) Exploring Professionalism. London: Institute of Education, pp.166
Petty, G. (2009) Teaching Today: a practical guide (4th ed.). Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes
Reece, I. and Walker, S. (2007) Teaching, Training and Learning: A practical guide (6th ed.). Sunderland: Business Education Publishers, pp. 86
Wallace, S. (2007) managing behaviour and motivating students in further education (2nd ed.). Exeter: Learning Matters
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