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What methods can teachers / trainers use to establish ground rules with their learners? I currently teach in a “Category C, Male Populated Prison” and I am employed in education to deliver a broad spectrum of hospitality qualifications to class of 10 learners. In turn I have an obligation to mentor to a minimum of 25 guided learning hours per week, to include numeracy, literacy, and ICT. Therefore it is essential for me that establishing ground rules are fundamental for ensuring classroom management in any learning environment; understanding the needs and views of those contributing, will have a greater appreciation from the group. Atherton, J.S (2005) defines ground rules as” The minimum necessary conditions for getting learning work done in the class.” By setting boundaries for learners, they will help to create a safe and relaxed environment that will ultimately promote transparency, underpin behaviour and mutual respect for each other. Three distinct options could be utilised;

* The teacher who can take a very autocratic attitude and dictate the required behaviour expected. * The learners set the agenda, with little guidance, giving limited structure to the classroom. * Open and honest discussion between the teacher and the learners to allow individuals to highlight what they feel is important to the group. This leads towards everyone living with group decisions and refraining from articulating their own personal reservations outside that group. There are several ways of establishing ground rules through consensual agreement and negotiation: Small group method;

Breaking the group into smaller units to think about a limited number of suggestions that they feel are important to them. Go around the room to discuss these ideas, while also trying to elicit an understanding behind their submissions. Ensure that the group is happy about their input, but make certain that any missed and basic rules are incorporated Allow the group to openly...
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