Investigating Instruction for Non-Traditional Students Using Brookfield’s Critical Incident Questionnaire

Abstract

As educators, we strive for continuous improvement in order to make our instruction more meaningful and engaging for all learners. Brookfield (1998; 2015) believes that critical reflective practices allow practitioners to thoughtfully and carefully consider their actions while focusing on the needs of the students. According to Brookfield (1995), educators who provide opportunities to reflect through journaling and interactive engagements are best able to meet the needs of the learners, thus making theory and practice, and the scholarship of teaching and learning, most beneficial for all. The purpose of this study was to determine what, if any, instructional methods impacted pre-service teachers’ perceptions regarding engagement and support. In addition, the impact of the instructor’s teaching practices within the classroom were also investigated. The following research question guided this study: How do students perceive the level of engagement and support fostered within an undergraduate college course as determined by the use of the Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ)? Participants, all of whom were pre-service teachers, were given Brookfield’s Critical Incident Questionnaire (1995) during the course. The initial survey was used to determine their perceptions of the impact of instruction and learning methods. The second administration of the survey was used to ascertain if changes made in instruction based on initial survey results helped to positively impact student engagement and support as perceived by the pre-service teachers.

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