e) Demonstrate your understanding of ways to establish ground rules with learners
Ground Rules are boundaries and rules introduced to reinforce behaviour deemed appropriate for the class/ workshop, ensuring respect and creating a safe environment in which teaching and learning can take place. The first step in establishing ground rules is to decide whether they are negotiable or non-negotiable for example certain rules must be abided by when on college campus, and these are stated in the college handbook which is handed out to all individuals, there are also negotiable /non-negotiable rules relating to each department for example when in practical lessons it is possible to vary the times of breaks and it is vital that both staff and learner abide by the various health and safety policies introduced to ensure the safety and well-being of all present in the workshop e.g. mandatory wearing of personal protective equipment, the banning of mobile phones, banning of the use of machinery when not permitted/ trained to.
There are various methods of establishing ground rules, and effective method being a discussion either between the students and one’s self or by encouraging the learners to work together to recognise what behaviour is acceptable. This enables the learners to recognise what is acceptable and gives them a sense of ownership as well as encouraging group dynamics.
To extend this the students could either create a poster or write down behaviour which they believe to be appropriate for the classroom and practical sessions and then to share with the group. To further reinforce the establishing of ground rules another method would be to display the agreed rules (as currently displayed on the workshop notice board) and to present the learners and members of staff with individual copies of the ground rules to place in their work portfolios, which can be referred to as the course progresses.