9.3.2 Explain how to establish ground rules with learners to promote respect for others.
Ground rules are a set of rules which are used to give all learners an equal chance of learning. They should help to eliminate disruption, allow everyone to participate and promote respect for each others contributions. As identified by Gravells (), learners like to know the limitations within which they are expected to work.
Ownership of the ground rules is very important. Ground rules set solely by the teacher for the learners to adhere to and abide by can be seen as overly harsh, unfair and learners can become somewhat disagreeable and perhaps ignore or rebel against these rules to show their dissatisfaction, as observed by Petty (2009). A combined set of ground rules which originates from both teacher and learners is a far better method to establish ground rules. Learners are able to contribute to these ground rules and participate in the discussions about the different rules. This participation allows learners to “buy in” to the proposed ground rules and therefore feel that they have some ownership over them as opposed to having the ground rules prescribed and latterly enforced.
Atherton (2011) suggests that a method of establishing ground rules would be to draw on learners’ previous experiences. In small groups, learners would be asked to consider the most productive and counter productive groups in which they have been involved and to identify the causality. Learners could also discuss how to help eliminate the bad experiences and to promote the good ones. Learners can then draft a set of ground rules for presentation. The advantages of using this method are that learners are able to identify key areas of disruption and are able to establish their own set of ground rules. A disadvantage of this method is that ground rules from a number of different groups is time consuming and the set of ground rules may become disjointed or too numerous to...
References: Atherton, J. S., (2011) Teaching and Learning; Ground rules for the class [On-line: UK] from http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/ground_rules.htm
Petty, G., Teaching Today A Practical Guide 4th Ed, 2009, Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes
Gravells, A., Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector 5th Ed, 2012, London: SAGE Publications
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