Preparing to Teach in a Lifelong Learning Sector

Preparing to Teach in a Lifelong Learning Sector

Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector

(Section 4)

Analyse different ways in which you would establish ground rules with your learners, which underpin behaviour and respect for others.

All students have different expectations of themselves, of each other, of their teacher and of their learning environment. Therefore it is often necessary – especially in the 16-18 sector of further education – to establish ground rules with the learners, which underpin behaviour and respect for others.

It is important for the group, under the direction of the teacher, to identify and agree good practice guidelines and to discuss ways of creating a positive culture and climate in their learning environment. If transparency isn’t ensured, ethically it would be unfair to castigate students for violating rules when they may not have known or fully understood them.

Teachers need to establish an appropriate micro-culture within the group. This includes the physical environment, the psychological climate, the interactions between the teacher and the group, and between the individual group members. Sometimes the ‘rules’ are assumed and problems are rare, but it usually helps to establish the ground rules from the start.[1]

Depending on the maturity and capability of the group, there are several ways of establishing such ground rules. As I am hoping to go on to teach in the 16-18 sector, I would steer the initial session in an appropriate style suited to their age group.

Initially I would make clear the non-negotiable (primarily health and safety related) rules imposed by the college. From thereon in I think it would be of value to lead the session working on the basis of ‘rational’ rather than ‘positional’ authority, appealing to the principle of efficiency in learning and drawing from my own experiences, which I would share with the group where applicable.

I believe that involving the students in the decision making process will result in...

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