The roles and responsibilities of a teacher within in the lifelong learning sector have been shaped and developed by a range of factors. From cultural changes, greater understanding of learning styles and the laws which govern the education community as a whole. In this essay I will cover some of roles and responsibilities of a teacher and the relationships between teachers and the the various stakeholders in the LLS. I hope to illustrate the complex network of relationships between the individual and the professional bodies in this sector.
Verb 1. impart knowledge to or instruct (someone) as to how to do something.
The definition above doesn’t take into account the context of the information transaction itself. Teachers today are governed by a series of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice which together underpin the professional boundaries which educators should operate within.
The broad range of a teacher’s responsibilities begins with basic tasks such as recording attendance or complying with disciplinary procedures to understanding the complex needs of their learners. Every teacher is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the learners in the classroom. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the legislation which underpins a teacher's duty of care to their students. Beyond the physical safety of a learner a teacher must also ensure they meet professional standards and observe the rules and guidance of awarding bodies.
Equality & diversity in teaching is provided for by the Equality Act 2010 which covers nine protected characteristics. It is the responsibility of the teacher to promote and uphold the principles of fairness and inclusivity in the classroom. Disability is one of these protected characteristics; a teacher is required to make reasonable adjustments for learners with disabilities based on the impairment. e.g a reader for a blind learner or written materials for a deaf learner. Furthermore where this is not practical or unavailable a teacher should locate additional support.
My experience within the lifelong learning sector is very limited however I have adopted the role of a teacher whilst working in the youth employment sector - I coordinate the local authorities’ apprenticeship programme - and part of the role has required me to run sessions for young people searching for employment. I would facilitate workshops at the Jobcentre Plus - It was my role to arrange for a suitable learning environment and select an appropriate venue, and ensure handouts and resources are available for all participants.
In my experience working within recruitment for a local authority the principles of equality and inclusivity are built into our processes ensuring all stakeholders are free from discrimination and exclusion. I would adapt my approach in the workshops by broadening the case studies used to reflect the cultural profile of the workshop participants.
It is hugely important to detect and cater for differing learner needs. Dunn and Dunn, 1993 say matching teaching technique with learning styles significantly improves learning outcomes. The process of identifying learning styles and modifying of teaching techniques is known as differentiation.
‘Differentiation is….. the process of identifying, with each learner, the most effective strategies for achieving agreed targets’.1 (Weston 1992)
The JCP sessions are stand-alone and in this context I am unable to understand prior to the session the individual learner needs. It was my responsibility to carefully plan the content of the workshop and the activities it contained to suit a variety of learner needs. To improve the sessions I could include powerpoint presentations, discuss the programme and set-up role play activities to cover the visual, audio & kinaesthetic learning styles. (VAK)
To improve the JCP group’s engagement I would...