Call for Papers

Critical Incidents in Teaching

2,000 to 3,000 word essay
Due July 1, 2019

A “critical incident” is a memorable, significant, or unexpected moment experienced in the classroom. Subjecting such moments to careful critical analysis can reveal important facets of the purposes and practices of teaching.

The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching seeks essays of 2,000 to 3,000 words that describe and analyze a particular “critical incident” that you experienced in your teaching practice.

  • The first section of the essay should provide a factually based description of the event. Like the prologue to any good novel, play, or movie, the first section should include the who, what, when, where, and why of the incident.
  • The second section should provide an analysis of what this incident means to the author-teacher. The narrative should show how you are puzzling through the various complicating factors that made decision making in this situation a more difficult process than originally it might have appeared on the surface.
  • The third section of the essay reveals what you have learned from the incident. “What do I know now that I wish I knew then; and, had I known it, how might I have perhaps acted differently?” This section challenges you to expand on how you conceptualize what is transpiring and to consider what that means for your teaching practice.
  • The essay concludes by identifying the personal and professional tools, skills, and attributes that one needs in order to meet the challenges presented in the critical incident.

This Call for Papers is inspired by what Stephen Brookfield refers to as “critical incidents” in teaching. (See Brookfield, Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, Jossey-Bass,  1995
 -- chapter 6: “Understanding Classroom Dynamics: The Critical Incident Questionnaire.”)

Send manuscripts, inquires or questions, to:
Thomas Pearson
Editor, Wabash Center Journal on Teaching

Style Sheet
How to Submit

We encourage authors to take advantage of the open-access digital medium by linking to or embedding web-based tools, resources, graphics, and photos, as appropriate.