‘Analyse different ways in which you would establish ground rules with your learners, which underpin behaviour and respect for others’.
Ground rules can be defined as a set of working parameters designed to allow learners to complete tasks. They are designed to take into account the subjects being covered, the expectations of the learners and the tutor, the age, ethnic background, gender and also provide a basic framework of what is considered as acceptable behaviour. Francis and Gould suggest that ground rules are ‘an agreed code of behaviour within a learning group’ (Francis, M. Gould, J. 2009:26). Gravels states that ground rules are ‘boundaries rules and conditions within which learners can safely work and learn’ (Gravels, A 2010: 7). Within my own teaching environment ground rules are very rarely discussed as most of the learners have operated within the same disciplined environment for several years, the ground rules are entrenched within the culture. The author agrees with the statements above in that ground rules are essential in setting boundaries are creating an environment conducive to learning. If I am required to teach outside of my usual environment I will be aware of the need to establish ground rules at an early stage.
The way in which ground rules are introduced to learners may in some instances have a negative impact putting up barriers and creating resistance. If ground rules are too prescriptive they may cause individuals to withdraw or feel inhibited. The autocratic enforcement may also create resentment and exclude some individuals. Saoirse explains that ‘the main problem with tutor set rules is that students may not fully buy into them’ (Saoirse 2010). This may result in some learners viewing the ground rules in a negative manner, for some they will become a challenge pushing the boundaries or even breaking them.
Depending on time available and subject being taught...