Establishing Ground Rules
There is a variety of ways to establish ground rules within a classroom, firstly you need to discover which kind of ground rules are necessary for the learners, these ground rules can be adapted to suit the type of learners you have. The reason for using ground rules are to create mutual respect amongst the group and creating order, and a standard of behaviour which would be expected by every member of the group. Some ground rules are negotiable and some are non-negotiable, for instance; negotiable ground rule would be whether or not the group are allowed to bring refreshments ie a bottle of water into the classroom, a non-negotiable ground rule would be relating to the health and safety of the class, ie are the students permitted to smoke in the classroom, this could pose a direct risk to learners. A teacher may negotiate with students about what ground rules they feel are fair and relevant to the particular class, prompting them with rules you feel are acceptable, this way, the learners feel they have had an input on the decision, therefore more likely to adhere to the rules set in place. Setting a task for the group to make a list or pictures of the ground rules may help having a positive impact on the ground rules being kept and having them display the piece somewhere noticeable in the classroom will remind students what behaviour is expected at all times, and what punishment they should expect to receive should they not abide by the ground rules. Ground rules may be adapted throughout the course if situations arise which are causing a distraction to the students learning, again trying to involve students in pointing out disruptive behaviour will help them abide by the rules. Having a teacher who adheres to the rules and is a positive role model to the class should encourage positive behaviour. ‘Get the ground rules clear as soon as physically possible’ *
Atherton J S (2011) Teaching and Learning; Ground rules for the class...
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