By Melinda Box*, Ciana Paye, and Maria Teresa Gallardo-Williams
Check out our latest work describing how recognition and utilization of teachable moments can help grow an academic department’s culture of safety, published in ACS Chemical Health and Safety, on October 13, 2020 with title: Creating a Positive, Community-Based Learning Environment in a Chemistry Department.
This article provides guidance to safety professionals about how to recognize and transform teachable moments into occasions of learning and demonstrates how that can be a useful strategy in developing a culture of safety in an academic department. Teachable moments occur when one experiences undesired outcomes. In this vulnerable state of momentary failing, one often has intense interest in specific information that one is prepared to apply immediately, and if this hunger is met with support and curiosity, the outcome can be active construction of new understanding along with the skills to self-regulate going forward. In addition, we discovered that once a teachable moment is met with support, beneficiaries tended to initiate future inquiries rather than waiting for issues to be discovered. Here case studies are also provided to illustrate the qualities a teachable moment has, how to utilize these opportunities, and what benefits might be anticipated from successful engagement.
Congratulations to our Laboratory Supervisor, Melinda Box, and of course to Dr. Gallardo-Williams, for their hard work on this!