Critical friendship is an intriguing concept. The term appears in many books and articles about research and about collaborative learning. However, it has rarely been defined clearly. It is my aim to define it more precisely so that we set it apart from concepts like collegial consultation and helpfulness. I will do this by presenting a few ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQ), which will give us sufficient room to be playful, serious and provocative. In this way the discussion around the concept of ‘critical friend’ and its precise meaning can continue in a vivid and constructive manner. I invite you to write a response to my question below.

Critical friendship is complex. In one of his essays (chapter I-28) the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) describes friendship as ‘the domain of like-minded desires’. In his view, the main duties of a friend are to warn us and reprimand if necessary. This, then, is what I expect from my readers and I would really appreciate your comments.

Can anyone be a critical friend?