This Special takes a novel turn, as it is one of a small number of
publications on developing reflective practice that features the voices of
early-career academics. Actual accounts of critical incidents, their analysis
and potential resolutions, form the core of the Special. From these accounts,
the main concerns of new lecturers, as they begin teaching in higher education,
are foregrounded. The PGCert programme from which these critical incident analyses are
taken, uses a variety of methods to discuss and encourage reflection on issues
that arise in practice. This approach is explained in Part 1, which gives a
critical overview of the development and support of reflective practice, and
considers the complex concerns around supporting and assessing critical
incident analyses, especially ethical and professional issues. How reflective
practice is modelled and supported in a PGCert programme is detailed. This
summary is followed, in Part 2, by 13 critical incident analyses from a range
of disciplines, volunteered by early-career academics. Concerns range from
issues of student engagement and the pitfalls of technology, to learning to
manage disruptive behaviour. It is hoped that these critical incidents will be
useful to others as a source of discussion in those PGCert programmes that aim
to develop reflective thinking, writing and practice.

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Louisa Sheward, Marian Renshaw


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