Analyse different ways in which you would establish ground rules with your learners, which underpin behaviour and respect for others.
‘Ground rules are boundaries, rules and conditions within which learners can safely work and learn. They should underpin appropriate behaviour and respect for every-one in the group, including the teacher, and ensure the session runs smoothly.’
(Gravell, 2011, p75)
The best way to establish ground rules is to negotiate, in this way the learners feel part of the process and ‘buy in’ to the rules. I have used a number of methods to enable the learners to be actively involved in the creation of rules, some of these are detailed here.
One method splits the class into small groups to discuss possible ground rules and write each ...view middle of the document...
From these suggestions we draft a set of ground rules to promote a positive atmosphere.
To be a little more directive, I sometimes select a number of rules in advance, some sensible, some not. I write them on paper, one for each learner and get them to read out the possible ground rules, deciding if they agree or disagree with it and why. The rest of the class can say whether they agree to accept or reject the rule. I collate the agreed rules onto a large piece of paper.
The method that I use most is to split the class into groups; provide each group with a large piece of paper; ask each group to brainstorm possible ground rules and write them down. I then display all the sheets and we compare the similarities in the rules between groups to determine the most popular rules. We discuss all examples and collate a joint, ground rules agreement.
I ensure that I encourage the learners to discuss why the ground rules are important; if they need to be revisited if we discover that we have missed something or if the situation changes and what are the consequences of someone breaking one of the ground rules? As the rules have been negotiated, the learners feel that they ‘own’ them which, I have found, means that they will respect them. I usually keep the ground rules on display throughout the course to remind learners of behaviour expectations.
I am not able to negotiate all of the rules, for example, health and safety regulations are non negotiable. I always try to lead by providing a good example,
‘If you can lead by example, you will help create a culture of mutual compliance which should enable effective teaching and learning taking place.’
(Gravell, 2011, p77)
Gravells, A (2011) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (4th Edition). Exeter, Learning Matters