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Critical incident analyses : a practice learning tool for students and practitioners

Green Lister, Pam and Crisp, Beth R. (2007) Critical incident analyses : a practice learning tool for students and practitioners. Practice, 19 (1). pp. 47-60. ISSN 0950-3153

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Abstract

The development of critical skills in social work students and practitioners has been a major focus of social work education and training in recent years. Critical incident analysis has developed as a tool to aid critical reflection in practice, in health and social work. This paper provides an overview of the use of the tool in these fields. It then reports on a demonstration project which sought to examine how critical incident analysis might be used as a form of assessment and as a supervisory tool by social work students and practice teachers. An evaluation of the project is provided. Completion of critical incident analyses using the framework was found to provide a structured approach to critical reflection. It assisted the integration of theory and practice and the examination of value issues. Students and practice teachers identify its use in supervision and its potential as an assessment tool. The paper concludes with a discussion on the potential uses of critical incident analyses, with particular attention given to its use to develop anti-oppressive practice.