Bilingual and Literacy Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Critical incidents and reflection: turning points that challenge the researcher and create opportunities for knowing

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Qualitative research makes it possible to reveal the often invisible but no less real complexities of social structures and opens venues for knowing human and social life more fully. Drawing on data from two qualitative research studies that used critical incidents as a device for investigating the nuances of human interaction within two educational settings, the authors look across the two studies to illuminate commonalities as well as differences in their approaches. Through this analysis, they demonstrate how the inclusion of critical incidents affords both participants and researchers ‘turning points’ in ways of thinking about and reflecting upon the complex contexts of their lived experiences. The authors also consider how the use of critical incidents impacts the ethical and practical dilemmas inherent in everyday research practice.


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Publication Title

International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education