Teaching Ground Rules

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How can teachers/trainers establish ground rules with their learners? What specific issues are there in your specialist area?

In this assignment I will analyse the main ways to establish ground rules with learners. I will identify issues for my specialist area and conclude which methods may work best for me as an NVQ Assessor of Electrical Installation.

Examples of grounds rules starting and finishing on time, coming prepared, listening to others without interruptions, participating, saying when you don’t understand when anyone is speaking, addressing the whole group and not just the teacher, switching off mobile phones, treating others’ contributions with respect, keeping personal issues out of the session, maintaining confidentiality within the group (www.faculty.londondeanery.ac.uk/). Without ground rules, learning may be ineffective and difficult, they are therefore of huge importance and benefit both teacher and learner. A teacher referenced, “in my first year of teaching, a particularly ‘lively’ group of ten and eleven year olds managed to lock me outside of the class; it was a very steep learning curve!” (www.teachingenglish.co.uk) this quote therefore demonstrates how important it is to set grounds rules at the start of a course, they can also be revisited at regular intervals and be revised in the light of experience (The Quality Improvement Agency for Lifelong Learning (QIA) 2008).

There are three main ways in which to establish ground rules, teacher imposed, learner imposed, and negotiation between teacher and leaner (Atherton, 2005).

Some rules will have to be imposed to ensure legal/health and safety compliance, however a discussion of why these issues are important would make the group feel that they have not been patronised.
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