Student teachers perceptions of critical incidents in their professional learning

Raymond Soltysek, Aileen Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

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Our aim is to explore student teachers’ perceptions of what constitutes critical learning incidents in their very early careers. The investigation will seek to identify patterns across the student body which will provide an overview of key learning incidents. We wish to investigate how much importance they give to different aspects of their school experience.
The study addresses three key questions:
1. What do PGDE student teachers define as critical incidents in their school-based early professional development?
2. How can these critical incidents be categorised?
3. To what extent do the patterns evident in student responses match current course design?
This investigation will adopt a mainly qualitative, interpretative analysis of critical incident data, seeking to shed light on what student teachers see as critical to their own placement learning.
Participants have submitted demographic information along with anonymised critical incident notes. The individual critical incident ‘cases’ will be analysed using modified analytic induction, a process of iterative inductive and deductive coding through which descriptive hypotheses can be developed in order to identify patterns and perceptions.
Data analysis is ongoing at the time of writing. Cross-case themes will identify patterns across the participant group as a whole. These themes, or patterns, will be further interrogated using the demographic data provided to allow for identification of potential gender, age or other differences. Alongside this, to preserve the richness of the data, individual vignettes will illustrate either common or divergent themes.
Main findings and conclusions will be reported at the conference.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2014
EventScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2014 - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Nov 201422 Nov 2014


ConferenceScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2014
Abbreviated titleSERA 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • student teachers' learning
  • critical incident analysis
  • professional learning


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