Ground Rules

Ground Rules

Ground rules are the boundaries, conditions and rules which underpin a good environment for learning. These should be fair and simple to understand so there is mutual respect between the students and tutor. With this in mind some ground rules should be open to negotiation and introduced at course induction so all parties are aware and fully understand.

Rules should be set by the tutor at the outset of the course where they are imposed by the institutes’ guidelines.   For example where Health and Safety dictates safety shoes must be worn in the workshop area. Where rules can be more negotiable they can be agreed between the tutor and students, e.g. it can be agreed that mobile phones remain on silent and emergency calls can be answered if the student leaves the room so as not to distract the rest of the class.

Learners can take control of the rules when one of their fellow students breaks a ground rule. For example, a student may be jacking up a car incorrectly and not within Health and Safety guidelines and a fellow student may inform him/her of this. The student may then show them the correct method of jacking up a vehicle following Health and Safety guidelines, thus taking control of the rules. (If the learner breaks a ground rule, you may find their peers reprimand them before you need to).

I feel there is a need for a combination of all three methods for setting ground rules. There has to be rules and boundaries and a certain level of discipline, but the students should have their say and give their opinions on certain ground rules so they feel they are being treated fairly. This makes for a good working and learning environment, where everyone reaps the rewards.

Ann Gravells (2011 p77) “Ways to maintain ground rules” 1st paragraph.