My own specialism is health care, particularly pre hospital care, from simple first aid through to recognising and treating life threatening conditions. For example, the management of cardiac arrest. My target learner is the lay person, a person with little or no medical training or health care professionals who have no training or little experience in the pre hospital environment for example a GP or dentist. Identifying needs and assessing learning is my main strategy as a teacher. So I may be assigned a group of learners who need to acquire a “First Aid At Work” qualification. (Hse.gov.uk, 2014)
I would initially asses existing knowledge, would the lesson be starting from the very basics or working on some existing knowledge? I would insure I have a suitable learning environment, taking into consideration suitable furnishing, space for practical demonstrations and scenarios, with little outside distractions as possible. For example, non-learners would not be present, giving the learners confidence to take part in activities or be vocal. Safe, with regards to fire exits. A dynamic risk assessment (Healthandsafetyatwork.com, 2014) would be carried out before each session. Suitable toilet and other facilities need to be available.
My teaching strategy would be performing a task as an example, repetition of the task and simple explanations to what I am doing are factors I will use to help retain and re-enforce information given, Dales Cone of Learning suggests that the Active learning method enables 90% of what is taught to be remembered. Dale, (1969). Or, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC). So the basic structure of my teaching plans will be theory, practical demonstration, repeat demonstration, learner participation, questions and answers. I will ensure that my knowledge and information is up to date by keeping up with; NICE guidelines (nice.org.uk/guidance)
Resus council (resus.org.uk/pages/guide.htm)
British Heart Foundation (bhf.org.uk)
Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (jrcalc.org.uk/)
1.2 Explain how approaches to learning and teaching in own specialism meet the needs of learners The emphasis here is on the importance of experience, meaning, problem-solving and the development of insights (Burns 1995, p.112) I have discovered that the cognitive theories of learning can be applied to my learners to help me to understand the way in which my students can best learn from the subject I’m teaching. So I plan my lessons with theory, then a demonstration, indicating various tools/ways in which the task can be completed. Then I have a practical activity, where I sometimes break the students into groups, which enables them to explore the possibilities in solving something of their own using the techniques demonstrated. During the theory part of the session, I gauge what the learner already knows by asking questions. For example; I would open a session with ”What is a cardiac arrest?” and then go on to discuss what cardiac arrest is and build on any existing knowledge.
With the back ground knowledge I run through a practical demonstration of how to manage some in cardiac arrest, step by step, explaining what I’m doing, the potential hazards and possible different outcomes and how to manage them. This is not done in real time but in a step wise approach taking time to explain each step and answer questions accordingly. When satisfied that the learners understand the correct order of events I perform a real time demonstration, followed by brief questions and answers, I then get the learners to perform the task in real time, giving encouragement and help as they need it, followed by brief feedback. We access learning through all our senses, but generally favour one.
We process visually (by sight), auditorally (by sound), kinaesthetically (by moving), and tactilely (by touch). I try to incorporate this in my teaching. My approach to learning is active and passive; I feel it is important to teach the theory when managing a person in cardiac arrest for example, but the active participation of the learner is of greater importance. “Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process.” (Euripides c. 480 – 406 BCE)
1.3 Describe aspects of inclusive learning
”Few teachers are deliberately prejudiced; most of the discrimination is unintentional”. (Petty 2004: 81). As a state registered paramedic I always try to be non-judgemental, I like to think that this is one of my qualities as it is essential that all patients receive the best care from me at all times. I am constantly aware that there is a bigger picture and I am not always aware of the full circumstances around my patient or learner. I will apply the same principles to my learners to make sure they all receive the same standard of teaching, this is important to me not only from an ethical point of view but from the point of view that my objective is to teach the lay person to give simple but effective lifesaving treatment. Petty (1998:69) states: ‘All students must feel that they are positively and equally valued and accepted, and that their efforts to learn are recognised, and judged without bias. It is not enough that they are tolerated. They must feel that they, and the groups to which they belong (e.g. gender, social-class or attainment groups) are fully and equally accepted and valued by you, and the establishment in which you work’.
To ensure inclusive learning, I will ensure my comments will not be taken as discriminatory or offensive. I will use material and teaching aids that represent different sexes, disabilities, ages, races and religions. The training defibrillators I use are suitable for visual and the hearing impaired learner. I adapt my sessions for the individual. For those learners unable to undertake the physical aspects for whatever reason are taught to instruct others to perform the tasks on their behalf. This insures I don’t discriminate unintentionally. Inclusive teaching is possible when equality and diversity policies are positively promoted. Inclusion means that all learners’ needs, and an individual learner may have more than one need, are satisfactorily met to enable full participation in the learning process.
‘Every learner has the right to expect that they will receive high quality learning, appropriate to their needs and circumstances in a safe and healthy environment’. (Success for All, DES 2002) Apart from the moral and ethical aspect of teaching there is also the legal aspect which means I have a duty to actively promote equality of opportunity for disabled people which was placed on educational establishments under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 for example.
2.1 Explain how to select inclusive learning and teaching techniques Teaching first aid is about teaching a life skill to all different groups of people from all back grounds. They may have to use their life saving skills on a stranger or a member of their family, it’s extremely diverse. When booking my sessions and venue it will be essential that the venue will their support needs and requirements are met. So if I need to cater for a disabled learner I can ensure the venue and learning materials are accessible. At the start of the session an Ice breakers is a good way to get learners interacting with each other and help to get the learners to know one another and can start to break down barriers that learners may have. A practical element may be more appropriate for learners that learn kinaesthetically if they struggle with written work.
I will demonstrate any practical task before the learner under takes them to cater for those that learn visually; this learning method will also work well with hands on, psycho motor session. This can be described as a Learning pyramid. The first four stages, lecture, reading, audio visual and demonstration are passive learning methods. In contrast, the bottom three stages discussion, group, practice by doing and teach others are participatory or active learning methods. Inclusive teaching in a suitable well-chosen environment with the correct teaching aids and materials that suit all learners together with an inclusive teaching technique like the learning pyramid (thepeakperformancecenter.com) will mean every learner will feel valued and included and will learn to the best of their ability.
2.2 Explain how to select resources that meet the needs of learners Before a session starts its important to identify if any learners have any specific requirements. For example interpreter or British sign language translator. When reading materials are used in my session I will consider large clear fonts that may be more suitable for some learners with visual impairments. Dyslexic learners may benefit from paper that is thick enough to prevent the other side showing through. I would use matt paper rather than glossy and avoid digital print processing which tends to leave paper shiny. I would also avoid white backgrounds for paper, computer and visual aids. White can appear too dazzling, it’s better to use cream or a soft pastel colours. Some dyslexic people will have their own colour preference. Fonts that are suitable would be very plain, evenly spaced sans serif font such as Arial and Comic Sans. Alternatives include Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Trebuchet. Font size should be 12-14 point.
Some dyslexic readers may request a larger font. It’s best to avoid green and red/pink as these are difficult for colour-blind individuals. Braille is a consideration though less than one percent of visually impaired people in the UK can read it. (www.yourwellness.com February 2012) So maybe for these learners more practical activities may be suitable or IT based tools could be used, for example a text reader. Computers change the writing process by making it easier to develop and record ideas and to edit ideas. Technology can be an assistive tool replacing an ability that is either missing or impaired. Reece and Walker (2000, p195) state “Thus, anything that you use to augment your teaching, or learning strategy, or anything you get your students to use, can be termed a learning aid or a resource
2.3 Explain how to create assessment opportunities that meet the needs of learners. It’s important to see if my learners are progressing, learning new skills that can be used later on. Also, in certain sessions I teach there will be criteria to meet from governing bodies, for example, when teaching a rescuer defibrillator familiarisation the Resuscitation Council (UK) requires a three hour session. (resus.org.uk Jan. 2013) There are different ways in which learners can be assessed, and often there is flexibility when doing a course for learners to submit work or pieces of assessment in different ways. For example; written, practical demonstrated learning. It is important to find out from your learners how they would prefer to be assessed if possible, and where possible try to accommodate that. Voice recording is another method of assessment that will allow me to assess the learning, without the use of written assignments.
It would be worth considering a dictionary for learners sitting written exams whose first language isn’t English. I would use an Informal assessment, things like questioning, peer assessment and teacher observation, generally keeping a discrete watch over the learner’s progress. These types of assessments are valuable because it allows me to judge the progress of the learners throughout the lesson without putting them under pressure or stress. It also helps me judge when they are ready for formal assessment. I will question them about certain techniques learnt and they will demonstrate, discuss and explain them to me.
I will make a formal assessment of the learner’s knowledge and technique referencing the study criteria. Once the formative assessment has been made I’ll make a summative comment describing how the learner has generally done and possible areas for future improvement. It is important that any moderator has evidence that learning to the standard required to meet the criteria has taken place. So learning evidence will be documented and kept for future reference. These types of assessments are valuable because it allows me to judge the progress of the learners throughout the lesson without putting them under pressure or stress. It also helps me judge when they are ready for formal assessment.
2.4 Explain how to provide opportunities for learners to practise their literacy, language, numeracy and ICT skills It’s difficult for learners to practice literacy, numeracy and ICT skills when they are being trained as first aiders or rescuers as it’s about following a systematic step wise approach and common sense plays a major role. However, language skills can be practised in group discussions and I encourage questions at any time during the session. Numeracy skills can be practised when assessing an unconscious patient, for example when checking breathing the learners need to demonstrate they see if the patient is breathing more than two times over ten seconds, this is done by look, listen and feeling the patients breath. CPR is done at a ratio of 30:2 so thirty chest compressions to two breathes.
Children below puberty will receive five rescue breathes, then 30:2. (resus.org.uk 2005) Literacy skills can be practised with various English language literature handed out at the end of the session for the learner to reflect upon, it contains written subject matter covered in my teaching with photographic step by step pictures of procedures taught. Most of my sessions are not taught in a class room setting. I teach on the shop floor, in rail stations, in theatres and the like so access to computers is generally not an option. But I do encourage students to visit web sites for more information or to refresh their learning. Self-learning is encouraged at home or work, online. Supporting information online is available from organisations like The British Heart Foundation or The Resuscitation council UK.
3.1 Explain ways to engage and motivate learners in an inclusive learning environment I like to teach my sessions in an unconventional set up or lay out, for example not typical classroom rows of desks. Quite often this is the only option I have because I don’t teach in a classroom environment generally. My teaching often takes place on the shop floor, theatre foyers even store rooms. I like to arrange the chairs in an inclusive horseshoe shape. No learners are at the back of the class, all are made to feel equal. Also dealing with medical subjects can be emotive and ‘close to home’ for example if the learner has had a recent bereavement, so in this format it’s easier to observe my learners. I take the desks away as my sessions are practical and I see desks as barriers between me and my learners. My objective is that they learn practical skills the theory is less important and I discourage note taking to insure full attention, so desks are not required.
I give out literature at the end of the session so theory can be studied at the learner’s leisure. I motivate students with survival rates which are improving each year, for example; if a defibrillator is used in the first minute after cardiac arrest occurs the patient has a ninety per cent chance of survival. (bhf.org.uk/heart-health/nation-of-lifesavers). Or use the example of Fabrice muamba (fabrice-muamba.com) who survived a cardiac arrest due to good CPR and access to a defibrillator. I also motivate my learners with simple but effective practical skills which the majority of people can learn like the recovery position (nhs.uk). I promote first aid as something empowering and an essential life skill that everyone should have so they can give aid to family, friends and strangers alike.
3.2 Summarise ways to establish ground rules with learners to promote respect for others. Agreements have to be made about expected behaviour in the classroom. Ground rules are mutually agreed arrangements between the teacher and the learners, to promote mutual respect and to make sure both teacher and learner know what to expect from each other. So boundaries need to be set by the teacher or by the teacher and the learners together. “Setting ground rules will help everyone know their limits” Gravells. A, (2008 pg 7) Ground rules need to set at the start of a teaching session and can be done in a group discussion that includes all learners, I feel that learner will adhere to rules if they are involved in the making of the rules. It may be a good idea if I display the ground rules during the teaching session as a reminder and if needed for reference.
Some rules are not for negotiation, for example, health and safety, fire rules, no smoking and so on. Other rules would be around the use of mobile phones, leaving the room, being punctual after mutually agreed rest breaks, student discussion with regards of mutual respect, and course requirements. “Without ground rules, disruption may occur and affect the learning of your group” Gravells. A, (2008 pg 7) My limited teaching experience indicates to me that teaching a learner to be a rescuer is important to the learner and the learner can see the value of ground rules, however, individual debates tend to break out in class which cause disruption this is a ground rule I will aim to enforce in the future.
3.3 Explain ways to give constructive feedback that motivates learners. Feedback is an essential element for both teachers and learners. Giving feedback is a task I will perform continuously as a teacher, letting my learners know where they are with learning and where to go next in terms of expectations and goals. Feedback is a useful tool for indicating when things are going in the right direction or for redirecting problems with learner’s performance. My objective in giving feedback is to provide guidance by supplying information in a useful manner; either to support effective learning, or to guide someone back on track toward successful learning, I will also rely on my learner’s feedback to ensure my teaching is meeting the expectations and requirements of my learners and course objectives. I will aim to give a balance between positive and negative feedback to avoid an un-balanced and inaccurate message to my learners.
To encourage improvement without demoralising my learners. I would also encourage a response from my learners to see if I can adapt my teaching in any way to accommodate needs. Constructive feedback is information-specific, issue-focused, and based on observations. Constructive feedback will identify strengths to highlight what the learner has done well and areas for improvement where the learner might have done better. I would initially give feedback informally and verbally as practical tasks are carried out, without distracting learners from the task at hand. I will give formal written feedback along with verbal feedback after an assessment. I would make sure feedback is given privately and at an appropriate time and place. I will encourage a verbal response from my learners and mutually agreed action plans if required.
Frank and honest discussions around feedback is a positive plan , I feel. Feedback I feel should be honest and accurate so I will avoid telling a learner that they did a great job on an assessment, it may make the learner feel good but it does not help the learner to understand their strengths. I will not criticise my learner without setting realistic goals to help improvement. I will not be dishonest to save the learners feeling’s as this ultimately does not help the learner to improve. I give my learners a feedback form at the end of my sessions and encourage feedback via emails to monitor my own improvement.
I encourage this feedback to be sent to my line manager and then forwarded to me to encourage honesty. I will also self-evaluate, reflect and improve based on learner’s feedback and self-evaluation. Feedback is essential in my field of teaching to ensure my learners meet the criteria and course objectives so ultimately they can provide the best patient care possible. So after my learner has treated a patient, regardless of outcome they will know they have done everything they could have done for that person.
Healthandsafetyatwork.com, (2014). Dynamic risk assessment: moving targets. [online] Available at: http://www.healthandsafetyatwork.com/hsw/dynamic-risk-assessment [Accessed 20 Aug. 2014]. NICE guidelines (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance)
Resus council (https://www.resus.org.uk/pages/guide.htm)
British Heart Foundation (,http://www.bhf.org.uk)
Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (http://jrcalc.org.uk/) Hse.gov.uk, (2014). First aid at work – First aid at work. [online] Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/ [Accessed 20 Aug. 2014]. http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsld/resources/theories.html
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