Planning & Enabling LearningNegotiating With Learners, Inclusive Learning, Integrating Functional Skills and CommunicationIntroductionThis paper will discuss the method of research to be used with regards to the Lifelong Learning Sector (LLS). It shall look at inclusive learning, integrating functional skills into the subject area as well as communication and the possible barriers involved and integrating functional skills (FS) into the subject being taught. When planning to carry out any learning, the above headings all interlink with each other; for the purpose of this document, I have split them in to sections.
Generally, the research of Petty, Scales, Kyriacou and Duckworth, Wood, Dickinson and Bostock were used. The internet was a good source of information to further expand on the subjects.Negotiating with LearnersAs Petty (2004) states, ???If learners do not know what they are to do, they are most unlikely to do it! Students must understand the tasks, for example the difference between ???evaluate??™, ???analyse??™ and ???describe??™. They must also understand the criteria for a good piece of work, which includes the ???assessment criteria??™. They need to know what they are aiming for cheap custom writing service reviews.
???Initial assessment begins the process of indtifying abilities, interests, aspirations and needs and informs selection of the right learning programme. It can include an initial assessment tool as part of the identification of a learner??™s literacy and numeracy level. During the decision phase, an initial assessment test would be carried out to enable one to identify the relevant aims and specific objectives of the training to be provided. Initial assessment is the beginning of the teacher and learner??™s relationship, allowing the teacher to identify and discover whether there are any learners with difficulties and disabilities and if the learner is confident to talk about them. By recording this information, plans towards teaching can be made so every learner feels included and able to progress in their learning journey. This information will also determine the learner??™s starting point, but you must also consider that the learner may already have skills and knowledge that relate to the subject area being studied.Scales (2008) states that, ???Initial assessment has developed mainly in the realms of skills for life, work based and vocational learning, but increasingly it is valued as part of the learning journey for all learner.
???When doing IA with my learners, I try to ensure they are all involved in the process; this helps give them ownership of their learning journey as well as allowing us to agree goals and targets based on the information. When working towards a qualification, the awarding body or exam boards have a programme to follow. This is so that any teacher will know what to teach and the learners know what they will learn. From these, targets and goals can be negotiated and agreed.Overall, goals are long term, which equates to the whole programme. Aims and objectives / learning outcomes are usually established. Specific learning goals are short term, which determines changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and understanding of learning. Immediate goals break the specific goals into manageable chunks in order for them to be achieved.
A teacher should always be careful to ensure that the assessment allows equality of opportunity, and not discriminate against or exclude any learners and should always meet internal and external requirements.Assessment involves collecting, measuring and interpreting information relating to students??™ responses to the process of instruction. Initial diagnostic assessment before learning commences is a valuable tool. It not only gives advice to prospective learners before the course begins, but allows the teacher to help the learner decide if they are suited to the chosen course of study.
It enables the teacher to give informed advice and guidance whilst negotiating with the learner to more effectively meet the learners??™ needs. Initial assessments can also highlight any barriers to learning or specific support needs that the learner may have such as a learning difficulty or disability, or physical disability. This information enables the teacher to put in place the appropriate support measures to enable learning. Green (2003) as sited in Scales (2008) states that:???A staged process that helps the learner cross the threshold to the most appropriate past sixteen provision.
It is really important to get it right, so that the learning and support opportunities offered are the best possible match with the interests, abilities, aptitudes, aspirations and needs of the individual.???Inclusive LearningDuckworth, Wood, Dickenson & Bolstock (2010), talk about the Tomlinson report, 1996. A report published by the Learning Difficulties & Disabilities Committee. The concept is defined as follows: ???Inclusive learning is a way of thinking about further education that uses a revitalised understanding of learning and the learners??™ requirements as its starting point. The aim is not for students to simply take part in further education but to be actively included and fully engaged in their learning. By inclusive learning therefore, we mean the greatest degree of match or fit between the individual learner??™s requirements and the provision that is made for them.
???Inclusion is about involvement of all learners- the taking part in all relevant activities rather than excluding them for any reason either directly or indirectly and supports all learners with various strategies. It means recognising, accommodating and meeting the needs of the learner. Learners have a range of individual learning. Making the necessary adjustment for students with some kind of disability can benefit all learners.
It is important to treat all learners as individuals. An equalities approach understands our social identity, in terms of gender, race, disability, age, social class, sexuality and religion, will impact our life experiences. Everyone is individual, unique in their own right with their own needs and characteristics; within the classroom it is important to treat all learners equally and fairly. Inclusion is about supporting learners regardless of their social background or gender. It is important to ensure that all learners are given the same chance to learn and develop. Schools and colleges have provisions in place to aid this, as Petty (2004) explains: ???In many schools and colleges, learners have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) as advocated by the Inclusive Learning Quality initiative. This plan responds to the assessment of the learner??™s needs and to the learners??™ goals and aspirations.
It is drawn up by negotiation between the teacher and the learner.??? When thinking about the resources and learning activities to use when delivering a session to learners, I try to take in to account the time of day the session is taking place, for example, the last session on a Friday or just after a Physical training session. Many adult subjects are now taught to children from the age of 14, so it is important and necessary to ensure that sessions are selected to meet the needs of the particular group of learners as well as the more mature learners. Taking in to account of their abilities, motivation and interests and the way they are likely to respond to these activities. Because the age group in the Army for example is so varied, I have to be adaptable to ensure the sessions allow learning to take place across the range of learners. Effective teaching depends on the ability to monitor and develop what goes on in the classroom.
All teachers modify the curriculum in order to meet the range of learning needs in their class. I try to meet my soldiers??™ needs and incorporate their daily routine in to each session as it provides them with a ???comfort zone??? for their learning. It is difficult for me to pass comment on how to adapt my session to cater for disabilities such as hearing or visual impairments as all of my learners are at a set level of fitness in order for them to do their job. One of the most effective ways in which learners can be supported is to give them access to a range of different teaching techniques and styles, by doing this the learners will be more involved.
Learning is achieved by communicating knowledge and skills, through the use of our senses. Whilst a great deal of communication is verbal, hearing does not play the only role in our learning of the knowledge. It is through watching and doing, that the greatest learning is achieved. Even learners, who follow the same curriculum as non-disabled peers, will usually need additional elements because of their sensory impairment. Integrating Functional SkillsAccording to Petty (2004), ???Research quoted on the Basic Skills Agency website shows that between twenty per cent and thirty per cent of people in the UK have problems with literacy and numeracy at the most basic level.??? The requirement to teach FS has been recently introduced by the UK government to promote and improve the core subjects of Numeracy, Literacy and Information Communication Technology (ICT). By embedding these skills into all lessons, regardless of subject area, helps to ensure that learners are using the skills more often and they therefore gain more confidence to be able to utilise them in the real world. Functional skills qualifications offer learners the chance to gain useful transferable skills and are in the process of replacing key skills in Communication, Application of Number and ICT.
Better FS will help to raise standards in schools and colleges and improve employment prospects and further learning for all learners, regardless of age or ability. If a learner has insufficient skill in English, they may not be able to correctly read important documentation including handouts, activities and signs; this can cause significant problems as the learner will need a large amount of support in order to be able to keep up with the other learners, which the teacher is not generally in a position to be able to provide. Equally, issues with writing skills could mean that the learner cannot take adequate notes, or complete written assignments to the standard required in order to achieve on the course, while failure to understand verbal instructions could have disastrous consequences beyond failing to absorb the lesson being delivered.Issues with handling mathematics can also create difficulties for learners. Where the Key Skills folder requires my learners to take measurements and accurately calculate materials required for projects, this could prevent the learner from actively participating in the course and subsequently dropping out. This can also cause difficulties in the soldiers??™ work place where they have to calculate ammunition requests for range days.ICT is a more complex issue, as many of my learners may not specifically require it for their subject area.
It may be used in other areas outside of the classroom such as, online shopping, Facebook and materials on the internet. ICT also offers significant benefits in writing assignments as they can quickly be amended; this is helpful in the portfolio stage of the key Skills qualification for my learners. Most learning providers now expect assignments to be submitted using ICT. It is also a recognised obligation placed on all teachers by the Government that the teachers themselves should be competent in each of the FS areas.
This requirement makes good sense as how can you as your learners to produce work that you have not done yourselfPetty (2004) States:???Something like one in five adults in this country is not functionally literate, which is a sad reflection on the past decades of schooling. It is one of the reasons for relatively low productivity in our economy, and it cramps the lives of millions of people. We owe it to them to remedy at public expense the short comings of the past. To do so should be a priority for Government, and for all those, in the business world or elsewhere, who can help.??? The most apparent methods of integrating FS into a subject area can form one of two main avenues; teacher-based delivery and class materials/handouts. These may or may not be in context with the course itself, but may be necessary to use an activity or task to follow on to a related activity that is in context with the course.
Wilson (2008) identifies that there are two different terms for this; successfully integrating the FS within the context of the course is referred to as embedding FS, while integrating these out these out of the context of the course is referred to as integrating FS. Integrating FS will be considered as referring to both embedding and integrating FS. By incorporating these skills into the subject area, they must therefore be broken down into each skill and considered against the curriculum to identify potential areas for inclusion.
Gravells & Simpson (2009), identify examples of integrating functional skills into the delivery as including the following areas: * Literacy ??“ reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax * Language ??“ speaking, listening, role play, interviews * Numeracy ??“ calculations, interpretations, evaluations, measurements * ICT ??“ e-learning, word processing, use of a virtual learning environment (VLE), Emails These skills can be integrated into any subject area through careful consideration of the course materials and topics and how each of the skills can be applied in ways that would be beneficial to the learner and subject delivery. I try to achieve this by a variety of different techniques such as using class activities; tasks I set from published course materials to encourage the learner to improve their ability in each of the skill areas. Teachers can also refer learners to sources of training for these skill areas if they deem it beneficial to the learner, or necessary for their successful participation in the course.CommunicationCommunication and learning requires that the following chain works perfectly:What I mean What I say What they hear What they understand Non verbal communication (NVC) refers to all the body signals we send, deliberately or unconsciously, when we are communicating with others. It includes hand signals, posture, and facial expression. These are often referred to as body language, but NVC also includes: vocal elements of speech which comprises of stress, pitch, tone, volume, and sounds such as a sigh, grunt or gasp (this is also known as paralanguage); also appearance, including: size, stature, hairstyle, colour, clothing and tattoos and piercings.
Effective communication is all about conveying your messages to other people clearly. It is also about receiving information that others are sending you, with as little distortion as possible. In fact, communication is only successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication. By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you actually send do not necessarily reflect what you think, causing a communications breakdown or barrier and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals ??“ both personally and professionally. It is important for a teacher to talk clearly, and at an appropriate pace so as to be understood. Give clear instructions to avoid learners getting frustrated when they can??™t hear or understand.
Being polite and respectful, using the learner??™s names and in general modelling good behaviour is important in the classroom. As well as using verbal communication when speaking to a learner, use eye contact and a positive relaxed attitude. The communication barriers that a teacher may encounter could be that the information given can be quickly forgotten or you may not remember every point.
Also poor presentation of the message or instruction can result in misunderstanding and wrong responses. Barriers to learning can also mean the lack of information given, including information in alternative formats, i.e. Braille and other languages. The cost of study could be a barrier for some learners, as can personal circumstances such as work commitments and childcare. Concerns about age, ability and lack of confidence are often barriers to learning too. Other barriers could also include negative past learning experiences and not understanding how the education system works or how to access information.
References:Duckworth, Wood, Dickinson, Bostock (2010) Successful Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Learning Matters Ltd.Kyriacou (1998) Essential Teaching Skills 2nd edition. Stanley Thornes.Kyriacou (2007) Essential Teaching Skills 3rd edition. Stanley Thornes.
Petty Geoff (2004) Teaching Today 3rd edition. Nelson Thornes.Petty, G (2006) Evidence Based Teaching ??“ a practical approach, London: Nelson ThornesScales (2008) Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.