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Roles, responsibilities and relationships in lifelong learning Essay

Understanding own role and responsibility in lifelong learning 1.1 Summarise key aspects of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice relating to own role and responsibilities The relevant legislations for teachers and/or trainers are as follows:

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995:

This act aims in taking steps to make reasonable adjustments to overcome the physical barriers to access for disabled people in areas of employment, education, access to goods, facilities and services, buying or renting land or property and functions of public bodies. I will have to make sure that disabled students are identified during the initial assessment process and are provided with facilities available from the service provider, to help them continue their education like other students for example while doing experiments and outdoor activities.

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975:

According to this act, it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sex, marital status or gender reassignment, in employment, education, provision of goods, facilities and services. I should not discriminate or exclude students on the grounds of sex, in access to classes, courses or other facilities provided by the service provider.

The Race Relations Act 1976:

This act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, nationality or ethnic origins, in employment, education, provision of services and facilities. I have to consider race equality and make it an everyday part of teaching and learning.

Children’s Act 1989, Every Child Matters 2003:

This act helps safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need and also to promote the upbringing of such children by their families. Every child should get the support they need to be healthy, be safe, enjoy and achieve economic well-being. I will have to include every student in the class and deliver classes that improve the life chances of all children and young people

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974:

This act aims at protecting people against risks to health and safety in connection with their activities at work, controlling use and possession of dangerous substances. I will have to make sure that the environment that I am working is suitable for me and the learners, making any adjustments if necessary.

Data Protection Act 1998:

This act aims at safeguarding the rights of individuals regarding processing of personal data and its movement. It should be adequate, relevant and not excessive and has to be kept up to date and should be obtained only for specified and lawful purposes. Personal data should not be kept longer than necessary and should not be transferred to countries outside EEA unless they offer adequate level of protection. I will have a file for each learner that holds personal and confidential information. These files will be kept in a cabinet which is locked and only I will have access to that.

1.2 Explain own responsibilities for promoting equality and valuing diversity Inclusion, equality and diversity can be promoted by identifying the boundaries and barriers of students, which should be supervised till the end of the course. This will also benefit the learning experience as a group and help overcome the boundaries thus giving an identity to every learner. Each learner is different due to their previous experiences, and so teaching has to be designed to meet individual learner’s needs, where different strategies have to be used to promote inclusive learning. All the factors like gender, race, age, religion and other social needs have to be taken into account to promote diversity. All learners should be given equal rights to participate in all activities of learning regardless of age, sex, religion and race.


Inclusion is about creating a secure, accepting and motivating environment, where every student is valued thereby creating a foundation for good achievement for all students. A teacher has to identify the various needs of learners, through assessments and monitor their performance throughout the course. Additional time has to be taken to teach new concept in several ways, allowing greater understanding. Teacher should be committed to educate each child to the maximum extent. Students with special educational needs should be provided support services in the same class as the other students rather than isolating them from normal students. All students regardless of physical and special needs will be in regular classroom where different teaching styles are practised to include every student, for example body language, facial expression, large fonts, Braille documents.


Equality is making sure that every student is offered the same opportunities to learn and their needs are met in different ways. All learners are entitled to education according their needs, regardless of any differences. A teacher has to be aware of the different learning styles of each student and be patient, listen and help learners overcome their learning difficulties. Learning challenges should be set appropriate to different pupils, promoting equality through different teaching methods. Discrimination, bullying and other issues have to be addressed. Good behaviour has to be managed and accesses to additional resources have to be available for learners with disabilities or difficulties.


Diversity is valuing individual differences, regardless of age, sex, religion, race, nationality. A teacher has to recognise the differences and also the reality that all students do not learn in the same way. Teaching a diverse group of students needs monitoring student progress, and responding to student input. The cultural backgrounds, interpersonal relationships, sociability and expectations of every learner have to be taken into account, as each individual brings with them diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures.

1.3 Explain own role and responsibilities in lifelong learning The main responsibility of a teacher is to keep reassessing and monitoring the students continuously to learn their changing needs. The structure and delivery of the course has to be changed according to student’s needs. There are five steps in the teacher training cycle:

1. Identifying Needs

A teacher’s role is to initially assess the students and find out their preferred learning styles and any special needs also taking into account students’ previous educational experiences. A teacher is then responsible to plan the lessons in such a way that it reaches all the students considering the needs of the organisation too.

2. Plan Training

The role of a teacher is to take into consideration the length of the course and the number of sessions available and then has to plan and design the course in such a way that the syllabus is completed efficiently in the available time. The teacher has to be responsible for designing different teaching methods to effectively deliver the course with the available resources and completing an assessment to make sure that the message has reached every single student.

3. Deliver Training

The role of a teacher is facilitating rather than dictating. The teacher has to make sure that the course was adaptive and that the teaching methods and resources suited each student’s needs. The teacher is responsible to make sure that there was equal teacher, student involvement in each session, complete an assessment to test students’ understanding and also encourage students to clarify any doubts regarding the session taught.

4. Assessment:

The role of a teacher is to assess the students continuously throughout the teaching session, to make sure each student gets involved and understands the lessons. Assessment can be either a formal or an informal one and designed in a way that it gives clear idea of the students’ understanding of the subject. The teacher has to be responsible for the assessment to be valid and reliable, using the results to help the student with any help needed to progress and improve their skills.

5. Evaluation:

The teacher’s role is considering the opinions of the students and themselves and make sure all the administrative and organisational requirements were completed. The teacher is responsible to find out the areas of strengths and weaknesses, and device methods to make the next session more fruitful. Besides the above factors, teachers have their own professional boundaries. Teachers have to be professional and honest, have caution in self-disclosure, be observant, never scared to correct inappropriate behaviour, take time to respond to uncomfortable questions, keep the class as safe as possible, and never have meeting with students alone in a room.

1.4 Explain own role and responsibilities in identifying and meeting the needs of learners

It is important that you identify the needs of your learners so you can design the course to reflect individual differences. Although this is usually described as the first stage in the teaching/training cycle it is a process that may have to be deferred until you meet your learners for the first time and usually should be a continuing requirement throughout the learning journey. However, some organisations interview their learners before the course, or there may be an application process where learner needs can be identified. The range of learner needs can be described by a variety of acronyms – one of which is SPICE:

Social –

might affect how a learner can interact with others or how they view learning especially if they have had previously bad experiences of education.

Physical –

might affect how a learner can access learning (e.g. sensory disabilities or reduced mobility).


might affect how a learner gains new knowledge/skills. Learners may be at different academic or skill levels and take longer or shorter times to process new knowledge/skills than others in the group.

Cultural –

might affect learner views, values and beliefs.


might affect learner motivation or ability to concentrate.

In all cases teachers have a responsibility throughout the teaching cycle to monitor their practice and ensure learner needs are met. It is important to note that learners may not want to disclose needs and the teacher must respect their right to refuse to divulge sensitive information. Learners have a right to expect that personal information is kept confidentially and not discussed with others, unless permission has been given to do so or there are concerns for vulnerable adults.

2 Understanding the relationships between teachers and other professionals in lifelong learning

2.1 Explain the boundaries between the teaching role and other professional roles

1. Professional behavior is a priority: Your personal/professional values, rights, and responsibilities are more important than any sense of needing to be liked by others, needing to please others, or needing to make a “good impression.”

2. Use caution with self-disclosure: As a teacher/professional, discretion is required regarding what, where, and to whom you disclose personal information. Your role as a teacher and the setting are important considerations.

3. Beware of boundary violations; take time to respond: When other people (colleagues, students, friends) illustrate inappropriate boundaries by asking questions or making remarks about which you feel uncomfortable, look to your own boundaries, values, and responsibilities for support and guidance. Remember that it is okay to be silent and to take time to evaluate the situation. Responses such as “I’m thinking about how to respond,” “I need time to think a minute,” “I haven’t really thought much about it,” or “Please put that into other words” are appropriate.

4. Be observant: Observe the effect boundary violations have on others. Observe how you feel when your boundaries are invaded. This increased awareness will assist you to recognize, establish, and maintain comfortable and healthy boundaries.

5. Don’t be afraid to correct inappropriate behavior: Your responsibility as a professional is to model and teach appropriate boundaries.

6. Use extreme caution with physical contact or touching: Your teaching environment will influence whether or not touching is appropriate; for example, preschool teaching vs. middle school teaching. In short, you are responsible for eliminating any possible misunderstanding. Discuss this issue with your cooperating teacher.

7. Be prepared: Becoming a professional is an ongoing process. Allow time each day for self-examination and reflection. We need to continually assess our personal behavior, learn from our experiences, and realize that we will always be faced with

2.2 Describe points of referral to meet the needs of learners As my role as a trainer I would be expected to identify when learners needed additional support for a number of reasons, these could be special educational needs, due to a disability, financial assistance, language, substance misuse issues, childcare or counselling. Once these needs had been identified then I would need to discuss these needs and offer signposting to local agencies to enable the learner to address these needs if and only if they felt this was appropriate for them

2.3 Summarise own responsibilities in relation to other professional roles As a trainer I would have professional responsibility to my peers, managers/supervisors awarding bodies, internal/external verifiers, Ofsted Inspectors, teaching support and external agencies. It is important to maintain a professional relationship and a level of integrity and honesty to ensure effective team working and communication.

3 Understand own responsibility for maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment 3.1 Explain own responsibility in maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment One of my primary aims in the classroom is to create a safe learning environment. Safe in terms of physical and emotional safety but also in terms of students feeling safe enough to take intellectual risks. This is done by adhering to Health and Safety regulations and also removing / dealing with any bullying by having and sticking to effective ground rules owned and agreed by the student group. It is important to take into consideration Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs when creating the learning environment in order to support learners needs.

3.2 Explain ways to promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others

Each and every student is different when it comes to behaviours and respect for others. So agreements have to be made about expected behaviour in the classroom. Ground rules are mutually agreed arrangements between the teacher and the learners, which ensure that the views and needs of all learners are valued and appreciated. It helps learning, easy in the classroom. Students need to know what the teacher expects from them and what they can expect from the teacher during the course. They need to know where the boundaries lie and what will happen if they step over the boundaries. These rules have to be established by thinking carefully, expressing clearly and enforcing consistently.

Ground rules can be set either by the teacher, or by the learner or by the teacher and learners together. Ground rules can be set up by having a group discussion. It is best to have the ground rules mutually agreed so that both teacher and students have an opportunity to put their views forward and they must be doable. Once everyone’s views are considered, a set of rules that suit everyone can be designed. Learners are more likely to be committed and adherent to these rules and less likely to be broken, since they were designed by the group itself. It will instil positive discipline and maximise learning since the rules were set up with them and not enforced. As a teacher, my ground rules will be to ensure that I will be fully prepared for the class, be punctual with start and finishing times for each session and make sure markings are completed in time.

I would also make sure not to put down anyone, encourage the students, assist in team work, help with course completion, be professional and honest, be non-judgemental and will have interactive teaching and no politics. I would like the learners to decide on their ground rules like, respect for others, punctuality, confidentiality, honesty, equality of opportunity, learn and listen, no interruption, mobile phones off, no abusive language, self-control, no politics. After ground rules are agreed, they will have to be written down and distributed to every member of the classroom, and a copy will be displayed in a visible place in the classroom, all through the length of the course.

Also it has to be agreed in the class how the teacher will react if rules are broken. Learners have to be warned, as to what actions will be taken and disciplinary procedures made aware which will be different for each institution. This will create a safe and respectful environment in which all participants will have the opportunity to benefit from the learning experience.

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