Theory Task 4 – Ground Rules
Ground rules exist in every aspect of modern life, we just don’t often refer to them as ‘ground rules’ using other terminology such as instructions, boundaries, criteria, expectations, ensured standards, benchmarks etc. For the purpose of this assignment I intend to use the term ‘ground rules’ in an educational setting, where as a Trainer I will be interacting with students.
The students are aged between 16 and 18 years old and are undertaking a Customer Service Apprenticeship. They work within a Customer Service Academy and are required to attend pre-planned training sessions on CV building and Interview Skills Techniques. The training is carried out during their normal working hours and is mandatory.
It would be an easy mistake to make as a trainer to assume that my students will know how to act, operate and talk whilst they are within the learning environment. I have personally found that it is usually best to assume that the students will not know what to expect and this is where the use of ground rules can be advantageous. In order to satisfactorily introduce ‘ground rules’ into my sessions I need to understand what they are.
One website quotes that ground rules are “basic principles” (2008, babycentre). According to Mercer, the teacher defines ‘ground rules’ as the ‘conventions which language users employ to carry on particular kinds of conversations’. (Mercer 2000). An alternative definition is ‘procedures and limits agreed-to by the parties to a negotiation to govern the process, conduct, and scope of the negotiation’ (www.businessdirectory.com) Reece and Walker claim that ground rules are about “managing the classroom situation to ensure that an atmosphere is generated where the most effective learning takes place for all of the students” (Reece and Walker, 2000)
Whilst researching definitions around ground rules, there was one in particular which I felt took a elements of those above and simplified it...