| Blackpool and the Fylde College Leigharna McKenzie |
[an examination of the roles and responsibilities and boundaries of a contemporary subject specialist teacher.] | Within this essay the author discusses the roles and responsibilities of a teacher within the context of the teaching cycle and makes reference to legislation and codes of conduct, internal and external points of referral and record keeping. |
As a contemporary teacher in Academic Studies there are many roles and responsibilities to be considered, most can also be found across a range of teaching sectors.
Gravells suggests teachers practice differing roles within a model referred to as the Teaching Cycle, which encompasses five stages; Identify Needs, Plan and Design, Deliver, Assess and Evaluate. Gravells also states one is not only a teacher but a coach, counsellor, trainer, and assessor amongst others encouraging and supporting learners where necessary. Such roles and responsibilities are shaped by legislation, organisational policies, and situation requirements, (Gravells, 2010).
At the initial stage of Identifying Needs, the teacher acts as an assessor of their learners, either using information from assessments on learning styles such as the Honey and Mumford test, (1986), which can aid in choosing assessments and learning activities, or information gathered from initial interviews/applications to the course, i.e. what learners wish to achieve at the end of the course. The teacher is responsible for selecting and applying different initial assessment methods and using information from these to create an inclusive framework. As a boundary, learners may not want to disclose needs and the teacher must respect their right to refuse to divulge sensitive information. The Data Protection Act (1998) provides key principles such as only be using data for the specific purposes for which it was collected and not be disclosing to other parties without the consent of the individual whom it is about to guide teachers in this area.
Inclusivity may be addressed by adapting lessons to fitting activities to the learning styles of the learners i.e. in respect to the Honey and Mumford test, having group discussions and role-play included for active learners but also having time to think about how to apply learning in reality for pragmatic learners in the class. Other needs may be physical e.g. with a leaner that is differently abled. Guidance in this area is covered by much legislation, such as the Disability Discrimination Act (2005). Norse and Wilkinson state that this act means legally an organisation should not treat disabled students less favourably than their peers however the Disability Rights Commission (2006) suggest 52% of those covered by the act do not consider themselves disabled and do not want to receive unfavourable/special treatment. With respect to disability a teacher should find out what can be done to make things easier for the person concerned but also be aware that everyone’s abilities are different and different people have developed differing strategies to help them cope with challenging situations. It may be wise to discuss with the learner themselves how they wish to be treated within the learning environment at this stage, (Norse and Wilkinson, 2008). Gravells reminds us that there are also internal points of referral for instance such as Senior Tutor Support and Guidance who can give advice from their experience and the organisation’s policies or a teacher may wish to ask the college’s Learning Support department to become involved should the learner wish for additional aid. In the event that a learner discloses sensitive information that cannot be referred to internally, (e.g. there is an incident of violence in the learners home life) external points of referral such as the National Domestic Violence Helpline are available, (Gravells, 2010).
An inclusive framework is of upmost...