Group for the Analysis of Practices (GAP)

Domain of activity
  • Analysis of practice
  • Animation of group
  • Training
Objective of the tool/method The procedure of analysing practices may be conceived as a driving force for professional development, along the lines of the work by Schön on the reflexive practitioner who learns within and from his/her work. The reflexive process seems to favour articulation between practice and training. Professional skills in general, and agroecological skills in particular, are developed through confrontation with real, complex situations, the analysis of issues within the framework of the regulations, or of practices which are considered as successful. Further to this, interactions between teachers, exchange of experiences, concerted experimentation and dialogue contribute to the development of professional skills. The same interactive perspective places group discussion at the heart of the adult training methodology: argumentation developed between peers is a privileged mode of group learning.
Description of the tool The Group for Analysis of Practices requires organisation of procedures for communication and argumentation. The methodology is aimed at favouring exchange even if it is sometimes considered as frustrating by the participants. The leader of the GAP is the guarantor of the methodology and respect for the rules which govern the exchange. He/she reminds the group of the principles of consideration, non-judgement and confidentiality. A GAP is based on a certain number of phases which depend on both the leader and the end-point of the exchanges. The following phases are given as an example and may vary in relation to the context and objectives of the GAP. 1. **Choice of professional situation** At the beginning of the session, each participant evokes a situation that he/she can present for analysis. It may be an agroecological situation which has caused or is causing problems or which has been successful or which contains implicit agroecological skills about which the person would like to find out more. The choice of subject is made by a vote by the participants. The GAP leader does not take part in the vote. 2. **Presentation of the situation** The person presenting the chosen situation talks about it with any details he/she judges necessary. The participants are only engaged in active listening for the moment. 3. **Questions for clarification** The participants can then ask questions for clarification in relation to the presentation. These questions should enable finer definition of the agroecological skills at play and the context in which these are deployed. The GAP leader ensures that these questions are limited to clarifying the situation without giving judgements, affirmations or disguised proposals. 4. **Putting forward hypotheses** Each participant speaks in turn, giving their point of view on the question. The aim is to identify the agroecological skills at play and their mode of transmission or to reformulate the initial problem. During this phase, the person who presented the problem can only listen. He/she may not react to the proposals put forward. 5. **Proposing new solutions** This phase is applied to help the initial presenter to solve a problem. Each participant, drawing inspiration from the hypotheses given in phase 4, puts forward one or several potential solutions. The group must not judge the pertinence of the solutions put forward, the accent being placed on creativity. 6. **Review and feedbacks** The person who made the initial presentation makes a review, giving his or her opinion and any feedback on the points of view or proposals. The participants must remain silent and may not justify the statements made during the earlier phases.
Contact Michel Vidal
Contact email
Address 9 rue Célestin Freinet
Author of the index card Marie-Laure Girault
Author structure Institut d'éducation à l'agro-environnement de Florac