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Analyse different ways in which you would establish ground rules with your learners, which underpin behaviour

and respect for others. One approach I could take to establishing ground rules with my learners would be to be autocratic. This could involve me presenting to the learners, in the first lesson a set of ground rules I had created prior to the lesson. The benefits of this approach would include the learners gaining a clear understanding of what I, as the tutor, would regard as acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, an approach advocated by Smith (1988). This method would allow me to incorporate college regulations and requirements and what I regard as good teaching and learning practice, and ensure that regardless of age, culture or expectations, all learners receive the same level of rights. The downside of this approach includes learners lack of ownership of the ground rules. This approach also sets the tone for the rest of the course, and if I want the learners to engage in subsequent activities, they may be less likely to engage because I have set the tone as being me dictating to them rather than them playing an active role. To avoid this, I could use a laissez-faire approach which would involve the learners setting their own ground rules. This approach would allow the learners to be completely autonomous in deciding which ground rules they want and they would therefore experience a high level of freedom. The disadvantage of this method is that as a tutor at a college, there will be certain rules and expectations that both the learners and I will have to adhere to. If for example, the learners decided that punctuality was not a necessary ground rule; learners could arrive at different times which could cause disruption and interfere with the learning, which would go against college principles and the norm within lessons. A possible third approach in me establishing ground rules with the learners would be for me to be democratic. This would involve both the learners and I co-creating the ground rules. Bee and Bee (1998) emphasise the importance of learners being proactively engaged in writing their own ground rules which learners then have a much greater sense of ownership of. This democratic approach would allow me to include within the ground rules college requirements as well as learner preferences

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PTTLS Assignment 1 Ground Rules January 2011 Aminder K Nijjar

and needs. I would prefer to use this third method as it incorporates the positive elements of the first two approaches. I would aim to establish ground rules with my learners in the first lesson of a new course, in line with Athertons (2010) approach to setting the ground rules as soon as possible, as they can form the basis of learning that takes place in the class. Although I would need to be aware that ...the group may not feel ready to discuss...any norms of behaviour (Bee and Bee, 1998, p127) at the start of a new course with people they do not know. To take account of this, I would remain flexible in terms of my input and steering of the group during the process of establishing ground rules. In addition, in order to help ensure that a range of ground rules are created that meet learners needs, that are inclusive regardless of learners prior experience and culture, and meet college and course requirements, I would utilise Maslows (1954) Hierarchy of Needs which discusses human motivation as being driven by needs. It is an internationally recognised and used approach within learning and teaching and would help me to structure the ground rules with the ultimate aim of them creating the optimum learning experience for the learners. Maslows Hierarchy of Needs focuses on how humans more basic needs have to be met in order for them to be motivated to operate at a higher level of realisation. Maslow presents five levels of need, which appear in sequence as a hierarchy, with the first level needing to be met before the next level can be achieved, the second level being met before the third can be met and so forth. These needs are in order as follow: the first is a persons physiological needs, which need to be met before the next level of need which is concerned with safety. These two are the basic needs, which if not met result in people not operating at the next levels, which are: love and belonging, which if met is followed by esteem needs, which if met is followed by the final need, for humans to engage in self-actualisation. As my lessons will be concerned with learners developing their knowledge and skills and their engagement in self-reflection and self-development, I would align the overall purpose of my lessons with the self-actualisation element of Maslows

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PTTLS Assignment 1 Ground Rules January 2011 Aminder K Nijjar

approach. With this in mind I would need to ensure that all the lessons meet all of the levels of need within Maslows Hierarchy in order for the learners to engage in selfactualisation. To achieve this, the setting of ground rules for the course would present an ideal opportunity as the ground rules could help foster the type of learning environment sought throughout the course. Also, the creation of the ground rules within the first lesson would give learners an early opportunity for them to explicitly express their own preferences, thus creating an inclusive learning environment which demonstrates respect for all learners. Initially I would introduce the concept of ground rules and then ask learners what ground rules they would like for the course. I would encourage the learners to think of these ground rules in terms of what they want from the lessons which includes the type of behaviour they want from all those involved in the lesson: their peers, themselves and me as the tutor. I would then allow time for the learners to create and agree their ground rules. Following this, as I review the ground rules with the learners, to ensure all learners and I understand what each ground rule entails, I would also bear in mind Maslows (1954) Hierarchy of Needs as use it as a framework for the ground rules. As the first level of need is concerned with a persons physiological needs and Maslow presents this need to be the starting point for a person to be motivated to engage in the next level, I would look for ground rules which focus on the physical and environmental factors, such as, learners being able to drink water, frequency of breaks and the availability and accessibility of rooms. If the learners had not identified ground rules related to their physiological needs, I would ask them what breaks they would like and if they wanted refreshments within the class (where college rules allow). I would then look for ground rules which are concerned with the learners safety, for example confidentiality. Again, if this was not present in the ground rules produced by the learners I would ask them if they wanted discussions and information exchanged within the lesson to remain confidential.

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PTTLS Assignment 1 Ground Rules January 2011 Aminder K Nijjar

The next level of need is focused on love and belonging. I would envisage that the activity of setting ground rules would help the learners feel they are being cared for. Also, the ground rules would be written by the learners and once finalised, I would ask the learners to sign the paper on which they are written and then display the ground rules in every lesson. This would encourage a sense of group ownership and identity which allows a sense of belonging. Within the lesson, I could also make reference to seating arrangements and within the group we could decide whether learners would sit at the same place each lesson or whether they would move around. This again, would give learners a sense of belonging and connection to their physical space and each other. To help learners to achieve their fourth level of need, I would seek ground rules which focus on how learners will respond to others views and difficulties. An example being how individuals will deal with an opinion expressed that they may disagree with. Setting a ground rule which addresses this will help both the person/s expressing the opinion and those holding an opposing opinion know that both views are acceptable within the course I am tutoring, which in turn will help all learners feel they are respected. To help with the final level of self-actualisation, I would encourage the learners to reflect on the activity of establishing ground rules they have just been engaged in. They could note anything they learnt about themselves through the activity as well as how they felt about being responsible for creating the ground rules. Word count: 1422 words

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PTTLS Assignment 1 Ground Rules January 2011 Aminder K Nijjar

References Atherton, J.S. (2010) Learning and Teaching; Ground rules for the class [On-line] UK: Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/ground_rules.htm Accessed: 16 January 2011 Bee, F. and Bee, R. (1998) Facilitation Skills, London: Institute of Personnel and Development Maslow, A.H. (19) Motivation and Personality Third Edition, New York: Harper and Row Publishers Inc Smith, D.D. (1988) Starting to Teach, London: Kogan Page Ltd

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PTTLS Assignment 1 Ground Rules January 2011 Aminder K Nijjar