Theory Assignment 4
Analyse different ways in which you would establish ground rules with your learners, which underpin behaviour and respect for others.
Establishing a set of ground rules is crucial when teaching a group of people, no matter the size of the group, age or intellect. As stated by Gravells (2008 p.7) “All learners require boundaries and rules within which to work.” Students need to learn in a relaxed, safe environment. Therefore ground rules must incorporate all aspects of respecting others, such as non offensive language, a non aggressive attitude, listening to other people’s opinion and the basics such as punctuality and politeness. As Atherton J S (2011) agrees “They are the minimum necessary conditions for getting learning work done in the class”.
In a learning environment there are several ways of setting ground rules; the tutor sets rules which are non-negotiable, the tutor has a basic list of non-negotiable rules which are ...view middle of the document...
This strategy ensures the ground rules encompass those which the tutor deems a must together with input from the students allowing them to be involved in this important first phase of the learning environment.
The group discussion scenario not only allows for a group of strangers to quickly determine the general work and personal ethics of those they are with, but also results in a set of ground rules everyone is comfortable with. This process also means the group actually own the rules and as stated by Gravells (2008 p.7) “If the group take ownership for their own rules, they are more likely to keep to them”. This is view is complimented by the QIA for Lifelong Learning (2008) “Learners at City College Manchester on a BTEC First Diploma course agreed ground rules in small groups and then reached a whole class consensus. The rules covered such things as behaviour, attendance and meeting team deadlines. The teacher found that everyone felt ownership of the ground rules because they were not imposed by the teacher”. Group discussion lends itself to allowing rules to be flexible and renegotiated when individual circumstances dictate, being late for a lesson due to an unchangeable appointment for example. However, even in this scenario there are non-negotiable legislative laws such as Health & Safety ie when the fire alarm sounds everyone must leave the building, and company policies, such as where and when students can eat and drink, which must be adhered to.
Therefore, the non-negotiable scenario is straight forward, learners are given a list of ground rules they must adhere to. The routes involving group discussion are more flexible, allowing renegotiations and modifications throughout the term of the course, it is a work in progress.
Gravells, A. (2008) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector. 3rd Edition. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.
Atherton J S (2011) Teaching and Learning; Ground rules for the class [Oneline].
Available at http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/ground_rules.htm. (Accessed: 9 June 2011)
The Quality Improvement Agency for Lifelong Learning (QIA) 2008; Agreeing Ground Rules [Online]. Available at http://tlp.excellencegateway.org.uk/tlp/pedagogy/assets/documents/agreeing_rules_cl.pdf. (Accessed: 9 June 2011)