Establish a Safe and Supportive Learning Environment
Unit 1 Preparing to teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector Theory assessment level 4 Question 1 Review what your role, responsibilities and boundaries as a teacher would be in terms of the teaching/training cycle. The role, responsibilities and boundaries of a teacher are ever changing a teacher can inspire greatness in a learner. It is however, possible to teach without the learner actually learning anything, a teacher can have a great in-depth knowledge of their subject yet if they can not inspire or engage the learner their knowledge may not be passed on.
I believe for myself, as an instructor it will be key in my job role to be a facilitator and establish an atmosphere in which the learners feel comfortable, where they are not threatened by external factors, this humanistic approach is mainly based around the theory of facilitative learning by Rogers (1983). Carl Rogers theory argues that people have a natural eagerness to learn and that through learning people change their perception of themselves. The theory recognises that the facilitator should focus on the relationship between teacher and learner not merely the teaching.
Open discussion with students should be encouraged to prevent conflict, as it is recognised that resistance can be common in learning as the student in some cases is giving up what they previously thought to be true. The main aspect of this theory is that the most important part if learning is the change in the learners concept of self. Gravells (2008) describes teaching as a cycle, which can start at any point. The teacher’s roles, responsibilities and boundaries in terms of the teacher/training cycle are made up of 5 points Identify needs and planning, designing, facilitating/deliver, assessing, and evaluating.
A teacher can start at any point of the cycle, it is however argued that for learning to be effective the cycle must be complete. The 5 stages are further discussed below. Identify needs As an instructor my role would be to refer to my company’s goals ensuring I am aware of what the learner is required to gain from being in my class. I will be teaching NVQ level 2 in electrical and mechanical maintenance so it is key that the needs of the learner are met to the required governing body EMTA standards.
A criticism of this is there are boundaries set by EMTA which I can not deviate from; there is a strict learning practice and syllabus that must be adhered to. Within my role I will also be required to consider the learners learning styles, it is extremely important to be aware of each learners learning style to ensure they can learn effectively. Fleming (1987) describes 3 main learning styles, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. It is recognised that most people will have a preferred learning style, however most people learn through more than only one style.
For all the syllabus is set it is my responsibility to ensure the lessons are engaging and suitable for the learners depending upon their learning styles. Some aspects of the syllabus are required to be taught in a specific way, however this does not prevent me from including additional teaching. Such an example of this will be having to practically demonstrate a wiring process, alongside this set out aspect of the session I could design handouts and hold group discussions about safety aspects.
Including varied teaching methods will hopefully help to engage all learners regardless of their preferred learning styles. The teaching style can also be approached from different angles, I can change my teaching style be it pedagogical, andragogical or didactic depending upon the lesson content. The style I will commonly be required to use, most certainly at the beginning of the course, will be andragogical as there are health and safety issues and laws and legislations to adhere to. Another important factor I must consider when identifying the needs of my earners is their learning process. A commonly used theory of learning process is that of Kolb (1984) who describes 4 different stages of the learning process. Concrete experience, observation and reflection, abstract conceptualisation, and finally active experimentation, once again just like the teaching cycle, the learning cycle can start at any stage and is continuous. This theory particularly emphasises the importance of varied teaching methods and teaching the same concept but through different means to ensure learners have a full understanding. Plan and design
Planning and design of the lesson will require myself to study the set learning criteria set by EMTA and from that create lesson plans to and engage the group of learners and keep the group interested and wanting to learn more. Once again I must adhere to the laws and legislation whilst doing this as the lesson been carried out involves the learners actually doing the work themselves which is andragogical teaching method. Further more as the class is hands on I must make sure that the equipment needed for the course is available, and there is an internal verifier to sign off the work completed during the course.
Deliver Once I have identified the needs of the learners and planned and designed my course I can now deliver my course the first thing I would do is to complete an ice breaker, maybe have a game of human bingo. This would allow myself to get to know the learners and allow the learners to get to know each other, making a more relaxed environment. Then from there I can go about setting ground rules, the group will be aged from 16 to 21 so I wouldn’t want to patronise them, I would negotiate the rules with the group, but some rules would be set in stone specifically laws and regulations for their own safety.
To deliver the course my teaching style would be mainly andragogical as been an apprentice is a hand’s on role, this will allow the learner to carry out the task therefore learning the theory and learning how to carry out the task for them selves. In terms of learning styles I would try deliver all 3 styles visual, audio and kinaesthetic I would deliver the theory, view videos and show practical examples and give the learner the opportunity to carry out the task themselves. Assess
Assessments are carried out over the course of the syllabus this would make sure the learner is actually learning and gaining the required knowledge from the course. These are non-negotiable assessment which would be carried out in their NVQ portfolios which involves practical and theory assessments. At the end of each class I would also aim to have a quick questions session, allowing myself to ask the learners questions relating to the lesson plan, thus ensuring all aspects which I intended to teach have been understood.
This process would also allow me to identify any areas which are not understood, allowing me to recap or teaching differently in a future session. Evaluate In terms of evaluating teacher training cycle at the end of every course unit I would have one to one interview with my learners and discuss if objectives were meet not only to help the learner but also to help me with my teaching so I can always endeavour to improve. Another method to evaluate how the course went would be to ask the learners to complete a questionnaire allowing for more truthful responses as these could be filled in independently and without the learners name.
Evaluation is a hugely important part of the process specifically for myself as this would allow me to identify any weakness and help me improve for the following modules. For all I will be asking for the course to be formally evaluated at the end of each module, I would make my learners feel confident that if there is any improvements they think I could make within the duration of the course they can approach me and make suggestions. Evaluation should be constant during the teaching process to ensure I am teaching to the best of my ability and the learners are learning to the best of theirs.