Explain how to establish rules with learners to promote respect for other.
Before establishing how to set ground rules, we should first understand what they are and why we need them. In her book ‘Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector’ Ann Gravells states:
“Ground rules are boundaries, rules and conditions within which students can safely work and learn” (Gravells, page 9)
Ground rules should be based on the needs of both the teacher and the learners, not for the greater good of one. In his book ‘Teaching Today’ Geoff Petty states:
“there must be equality before law” (Petty, page 122)
The objective of any rules set must be to protect the interests of all the members equally. Rules set must be clear and consistent and should be based not on personal agendas but rather on educational, safety, and moral grounds. Ground rules are set to ensure that a session runs smoothly. If no rules are in place problems may occur which could disrupt the group and disturb learning.
Having established why we need rules, how do we go about setting and enforcing them? Ann Gravells suggests using an icebreaker to relax the students before setting any group rules. She suggests that it
“Reduces apprehension and nervousness” and “encourages communication, motivation, interaction, teamwork and inclusion” (Gravells, (page 91)
Before starting to set our ground rules it should be recognized that all opinions are valid, and the rules are not just for the benefit of the teacher. The teacher, however, should have a clear idea of what rules are required for the safe and efficient running of each session. Group discussion is key to setting rules.
Rules could be written on a flip chart or set into a signable contract. They should be displayed for the group to refer to.
Ground rules can be split into two groups.
1. Negotiable rules
2. Non-negotiable rules
Negotiable rules are things such as eating in the session and the use of mobile phones. Non- negotiable are less...