What methods can teachers / trainers use to establish ground rules with their learners? I currently teach in a “Category C, Male Populated Prison” and I am employed in education to deliver a broad spectrum of hospitality qualifications to class of 10 learners. In turn I have an obligation to mentor to a minimum of 25 guided learning hours per week, to include numeracy, literacy, and ICT. Therefore it is essential for me that establishing ground rules are fundamental for ensuring classroom management in any learning environment; understanding the needs and views of those contributing, will have a greater appreciation from the group.
Atherton, J. S (2005) defines ground rules as” The minimum necessary conditions for getting learning work done in the class. ” By setting boundaries for learners, they will help to create a safe and relaxed environment that will ultimately promote transparency, underpin behaviour and mutual respect for each other. Three distinct options could be utilised; * The teacher who can take a very autocratic attitude and dictate the required behaviour expected. * The learners set the agenda, with little guidance, giving limited structure to the classroom.
* Open and honest discussion between the teacher and the learners to allow individuals to highlight what they feel is important to the group. This leads towards everyone living with group decisions and refraining from articulating their own personal reservations outside that group. There are several ways of establishing ground rules through consensual agreement and negotiation: Small group method; Breaking the group into smaller units to think about a limited number of suggestions that they feel are important to them. Go around the room to discuss these ideas, while also trying to elicit an understanding behind their submissions.
Ensure that the group is happy about their input, but make certain that any missed and basic rules are incorporated Allow the group to openly discuss the suggestions and allow them to debate the value and worth to the classroom. The group can then vote to stipulate what rules the class should adhere too. By recording the rules, you will have a reference point for the class to focus should individuals fail to abide. Periodic revisiting and re-evaluation will highlight any deviation from those “Ground Rules” Ground rule poster; There can be issues regarding the level of understanding from a group who may have poor literacy standard.
A Ground Rule Poster may be more applicable in these circumstances; a pictorial significance can have the same emphasis as a written statement. The Acronym method; Utilise the ground rules to invent a short inventive statement: AAchieve goal LLearner participation EElicit perfection XXcel Brookfield & Preskill’s method Ask the students to think about the best group discussions, they have been involved in. What happened that made these discussions so satisfying? Next, ask the students to think about the worst group discussion in which they have been involved. What happened that made these discussions so unsatisfactory?
For each of the characteristics, have the students suggest three things that the group might do to ensure that these characteristics are present or not present as the case may be. Use the students’ suggestions to draft a set of ground rules on which you all agree. Record the guidelines. Copy the list and bring it to section the following week. This way all students have copies that they can refer to over the semester. Periodically, have the class take a moment to evaluate whether the guidelines established at the beginning of the semester are being followed, and whether they work.
The kind of behaviour and respect you would aim to achieve by negotiating and establishing the ground rules with the learners will ultimately define and underpin the success of the learning experience. Tutor name: Sally Welsh Word count: 633 Ashley Robson Bibliography Adapted from Brookfield, S. and Preskill, S. (1999). Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Atherton, J. S (2005) defines ground rules as” The minimum necessary conditions for getting learning work done in the class. ”