I am at present teaching Management and Team Leader BTEC courses at Level 3 and 2 respectively. I also teach a bespoke “Colleague to Team Leader “ course that I have written for the NHS in Derbyshire. The learners I am teaching have varied background, experience and ability and ages range from 22 to 64. The purpose of this assignment is to show how the topics discussed have affected my teaching. The first subject covered is “Negotiating With Learners”. I would like to learn new methods of doing this with the intention of “Hitting the ground running” more, i.e. sometimes I have felt that some leaner groups take a little time to fully engage with my sessions. By negotiating with tem earlier and more effectively I should be able to improve this area. I hope by learning more about Inclusive learning to make my learners feel more valued as individuals again this will increase engagement, it should also have an effect on the “Customer Experience”. This is important to me as I operate in a commercial environment where customer feedback in the form of testimonials can increase business levels. Integrating Functional skills is a necessary part of the apprenticeships that I already deliver , by researching and learning more about how to do this effectively I should reduce the amount of subject specific time taken on the courses, whilst still helping the learners through the Functional skills aspect of their Apprenticeship. Communication is at the core of all we do as teachers, I am looking at this with a view to improving my overall understanding of how learners and teachers interact in the classroom. This will help me better monitor how my learners are progressing, feeling and developing. I have researched the 4 topics required for this assignment online and in various published works. The websites and books are listed at the end of the assignment. My findings are summarised by individual topic with a final précis.
Negotiating With Learners
The purpose of negotiating with learners is to allow both parties to share their understanding of the learning journey about to be undertaken, recognise any barriers to learning, agree on the way forward and enter a learning contract which can then be implemented. Learners therefore are empowered with some measure of decision making and given or take a more responsibility for their learning.(M McCarthy, 1991,page 2) Negotiating with learners takes several forms. It should start with Initial Assessment. Although this takes place at the start of the learner’s journey it should be part of a wider and ongoing process. The learner should be involved in the Initial Assessment so they can become aware of their skills and knowledge relative to the course of study being undertaken. The teacher can also learn about the learners expectations and preferred learning styles at this point. This will allow the teacher to negotiate goals and actions with the learner who should feel a part of the process rather than having the process imposed upon them. Ongoing assessment should be built into any course of study to check the progress of the learner, goals and actions can then be renegotiated according to need. (learningmatters uk)
Another way of negotiating with learners is in the setting of Ground Rules for the group. Typically at the start of a course of learning a group would be split into smaller groups to form their own Ground Rules. The different groups would then negotiate with the teacher and each other to formulate a final set of rules acceptable to all. These rules should be revisited as the course progresses to allow for change, i.e some learners may not have the confidence to speak out at the start of the course, but as they become settled may find their voice. This process will help foster a “safe environment” for learning in which respect and co operation between learners and teacher will grow.(Gravells, Preparing to...