Establishing Ground Rules

Task 1: Analyse different ways to establish ground rules with learners which underpin appropriate behaviour and respect for others
The fact that all students are different means that they will all have their own unique way of looking at life, expectations regarding behaviour and requirements for a comfortable learning setting.     The teacher needs to manage the class in order to accommodate everyone’s needs and expectations. Whilst there may be the belief amongst 99% of learners that swearing at fellow students and teachers in the classrooms is unacceptable, the fact that it isn’t needs to be stated for the remaining 1%.   It is for these reasons that a set of ground rules regarding appropriate behaviour is established.   So, it’s not ethical to condemn students for breaking the rules if they don’t know and understand them.
According to Gravells (1) setting ground rules helps everyone to know their limits and Gould and Francis(2) state that creating norms, or rules is a natural part of group dynamics and that learners will feel psychologically safer if they know what is expected of them.   Their importance is understood but there are several sources from which they can arise.
According to Patterson, Carron & Loughead (3)ground rules, also known as norms, are protocols for acceptable behaviour within a team and may comprise task related rules as well as social rules.

Non-negotiable rules set by the College  
The College will have policies regarding health and safety which will be non-negotiable.   Some rules such as no smoking in the class will be generally accepted by everyone as this is now backed up by legislation. Other rules such as no drinks in the classroom will not be so generally acceptable, especially to those who consider themselves responsible adults who have just rushed from work to get to college just in time and are desperate for a coffee!   The ability to accept rules from “authority” is tempered by life experiences and personality, some people...