Explain the ways to establish ground rules which will underpin respectful behaviour for others.
This essay will attempt to make plain the reasons for and the different uses of ground rules as a method for encouraging positive and supportive behaviour within the classroom setting.
Ground rules are simply those rules identified and written that are conscientiously adopted by the whole class usually at the beginning of the course in order to encourage a positive learning environment for the participants. As has been stated ???Positive relationships are central to good behaviour??? (www.tda.gov.uk). Indeed ground rules may be viewed as a significant method by which the teacher can manage the class. An example of this would be a class agreeing to the following ground rule:
??? Arriving on time.
This rule once adopted would better ensure less disruption of learning and learners with late starters. It shows respect for the teacher, other learners and enables greater efficiency in the delivery of the syllabus amongst other benefits. It facilitates delivery of the session plan without the need to cut short material in order to finish on time.
In discussing ground rules Gravelly(2008) made the assertion ???Involving your learners in making decisions about their programme increases their interest, commitment, motivation and learning???.
Ways of involving learners may be to present ground rules which have worked well in the past for their agreement and discussion to reach common understanding of their meaning. Another group may respond well to formulating the rules for themselves with brainstorming and negotiating the final learners rules. Ground rules can also be used flexibly. They may be referred to, to demonstrate desired behaviour or used as a means to prevent undesirable behaviour. They may also be amended to adjust to new needs within the classroom.
In conclusion then ground rules may be considered a tool to establish a positive learning environment especially at the outset of the programme, giving a structure to behaviour and a means to control and encourage respectful and safe learning within the setting.