Ptlls Task 4 - Ground Rules

Task: Analyse different ways in which you would establish ground rules with your learners, which underpin behaviour and respect for others.

We use ground rules in order to set expectations for both pupils and teacher as to how lessons will be conducted, and to expected behaviour. The CIPD1 says that the aim is “to create a safe learning environment that promotes tolerance, respect and co-operation between your learners”, and that the rules “should be agreed by, and followed by, all learners within your group”.
Clearly it is important that these rules should be clear and understood, and accepted by all parties. It is also important that they should be established early on in the course, and appropriate to the nature of the course being delivered. For example, if a single lecture is being delivered the teacher may set the rules at the start, while for a course delivered over a period of weeks or months, as would be the situation in my own case, the rules should be discussed and agreed by teachers and pupils to gain acceptance and encourage compliance.
In this second case, what alternative approaches could I use to establish our rules? One way would be for me to suggest a set of rules which the group then discusses and agrees. However, while this may generate a more complete set of rules due to the my prior experience, it runs the risk of alienating the group, who may feel somewhat excluded from the process and inhibited from contributing. At the other extreme, I might ask the group to set all the rules, but this in turn may lead to an incomplete or inappropriate rule-set, due to the pupils' own relative inexperience.
So some middle-ground approach would seem to be most appropriate. It may be that I could provide some guidance through broad headings - “use of mobile phones”, “comfort breaks”, “speaking out in class” are some examples – and then foster discussion amongst the group to “flesh these out” and arrive at an agreed set. The group should also consider...