Establishing Ground Rules with Learners
In general it is better to allow the ground rules to come from the learners this results in ownership. Consequently, violation of the rules brings personal remorse because the values and rules are their own. Also peers will pressure peers to abide by the rules because they collectively own them.
There are several tools and approaches that can be used. I have listed some below and ways they can be executed.
1) Run a discussion in groups of 3 or 4’s to explore the feelings that would be experienced by the receiver of the behaviour in question. Topics:
• Cussing, swearing and profane language in conversation. Consider what it feels like for those who do not partake in such linguistic freedom. • Violence, sexism, racism, people group hatred and general expressions of aggression to others.
The groups can then reflect back their findings, thoughts, feelings through nominated group spokespersons. The main themes then captured and the class then set the task of recording these.
2) Run a class wide suggestion session of what the class consider to be individuals’ basic rights, such as: The right to change their mind
The right to be wrong, and not be laughed at.
The right to say no.
This could be done anonymously on post-it notes then stuck on a board at front. The next step would be to group the post-its in common threads. Next, seek general class consensus on points made. This could be quite a wide subject and possibly sensitive. Caution and guidelines to be set by tutor at the start i.e. subjects to steer clear of. Careful engineering of this session by the tutor is required, through careful questioning to tease out the desired result. This method could be rounded up with a standard hand out to see how the group faired.
3) Use Video footage of roll plays/fly on the wall films, showing the example of what you would like to bring as a ground rule. For example it could be two...
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