Teaching is to enable understanding and application of information (Jarvis and Jarvis, 2006), learning is the gaining of knowledge and quantifying the amount of learning may be referred to as an assessment (Merriam-webster.com, 2018). Therefore, the teacher is an individual or thing that bears the role of delivering the right information and responsible for creating the right environment for learning.
Below is the representation of a teaching cycle by Linda Wilson (2014).
Figure 1: suggest that teaching/training is a continuous process towards improvement.
The purpose of this report is to present an understanding of teaching, learning and assessment in education and training in relation to own teaching practice.
This report will be presented in three parts. The first part will cover roles and responsibilities, then investigate some teaching and learning best practice(s) with a conclusion on a personal analysis of own teaching practice.
PART 1: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The roles and responsibilities of a modern teacher are beyond delivering information and facilitating learning (Machin et al. 2015; Jim Gould and Jodi Roffey-Barentsen 2018).
OWN ROLES IN MY PRACTICE
Head of Administration: Duties includes data management, telephone enquiries, promote and ensure legislation that cover data process and protection (Legislation.gov.uk, 2018), equality and diversity (Legislation.gov.uk, 2010), health and safety in the workplace (Legislation.gov.uk, 1974) and standards (Gov.UK, 2011) are adhered to.
Tutor: As a tutor, my paramount responsibility is to devise ways of keeping the learners motivated and engaged (Machin et al., 2015). Additionally, identifying the needs of individual learners, gather and prepare resources, the scheme of work and session planning, inspecting and grading work, workshop development and Improvement. More so, ensuring of a safe learning environment.
Head of IT: Responsible for website and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) upkeep, IT equipment, staff training and cybersecurity.
Liaison Officer: My responsibilities amongst others include, marketing training programmes to organisations, attending professional functions and events.
Professional: Further responsibilities in line with the standards set by the Department for Education include a consistent exhibition of good personal conduct, being a good role model to learners, responsible for promoting high learning and teaching standards, reflect of process and practice for improvement and uphold and promote British values always (Gov.UK, 2011).
Legislation and standards are used to create a safe learning environment, protect individuals and set clear boundaries in education and training. Some of the main aspects are presented below.
Data Protection Act (2018): Instructs how personal data of staff, workers and learners are processed and stored (Legislation.gov.uk, 2018).
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) covers creating a healthy, risk-free and safe environment for teaching and learning (Legislation.gov.uk, 1974).
Equality Act (2010): This legislation instructs equal treat and opportunity for all. Prohibits any form of discrimination in all industry (Legislation.gov.uk, 2010).
Copyrights Designs and Patent Act (1998): Directs how intellectual property is used appropriately to avoid infringement (Gov.uk, 1998).
Computer Misuse Act (1990): Protection of computer users against cyber-attack and theft of information (Legislation.gov.uk, 1990).
RELATIONSHIP AND BOUNDARIES
Boundaries of roles enable to maintain an expected level of standards. Including outlining and identifying the limitations of duties and specify the rights of the teacher (Whitchurch, 2008).
For instance, in the classroom, I state loudly and in non-ambiguous language what the rules and conditions are in relation to equal treatment, respect for everyone and of all contributions. Additionally, emergency procedures and how to avoid creating an unsafe learning environment (Legislation.gov.uk, 1974) are also provided. Breach on those specifics is also detailed. I make known to learners my role as a helper and my limitation too. By these examples, my authority is established, learners see me as one of their points of reference and understand what level of behaviour is expected of them.
Also, I maintain the expected professional standard in dealing with my fellow workmates. For example, I treat all colleagues equally and with respect by observing the relative aspects of the teacher’s standard provided by the Department of Education. This ensures my personality is associated with integrity and an absence of bias in all circumstances. Furthermore, a clear understanding of roles within the institution enhance the ability to know who to refer to when faced with an obstacle that may hinder a teacher’s objective. For instance, referring a learner to the right department or colleague that is responsible for handling certain issues or drawing on the facility management support to conduct a routine task or attend to an infrastructural damage.
More so, a teacher acts as a brand representative of their institution and any conduct has the probability of being adversely perceived. For example, confidentiality, courtesy, discussions, language or physical contact beyond the realms of the profession and venturing into personal and emotional manner may jeopardise not only the teacher’s reputation but those of their organisation.
THE ROLE OF ASSESSMENTS IN AGREEING TO LEARNING GOALS
The role and use of initial and diagnostic assessments in agreeing to individual learning goals are essential to ascertain where the learning journey begins from and where the destination should be (Fry, Ketteridge and Marshall, 2003).
Gould and Roffey-Barentsen (2018) proposed a variety of method that will aid to picture what level a learner has achieved from the start of the learning journey, all through to visioning what the end is. Examples included quizzes, application forms, interviews, tests, questionnaires and much more.
In my teaching practice, a questionnaire of 10-15 questions is used to determine what a learner already know at each point of entry to a subject. This directs planning for individual learning needs and provides insights into the most effective and useful resources that will aid the learner’s development. This information is reflected on and an initial learning plan is designed. The learning plan is presented to the sponsors of the programme and a formal approval is obtained.
Another important tool I employ in reaching an agreement of the learning outcome with the learner is goal setting. By allowing the learner to list their goals in relation to the learning objectives, I acquire an understanding of learner’s expectations and plan the lesson accordingly. Moreover, assessments continue along the learning journey to verify if the learning plan is effective and learners are progressing. For example, I apply observation to try to identify learners that requires a different approach or are not engaged in the learning process as expected. Which will, in turn, require a reflection on what new strategy to adapt.
Therefore, the roles of initial and diagnostic assessment enable me to achieve an effective lesson plan that is inclusive of all learners, ensure I maintain the quality of content that is in line with the programme, renders me tools for motivating and inspiring the learners and act as a milestone for everyone involved in the programme.
PART 2: INVESTIGATION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING BEST PRACTICE
IMPORTANCE OF IDENTIFYING AND MEETING LEARNERS INDIVIDUAL NEEDS.
Several studies (Angelo and Cross, 1993; Fry, Ketteridge and Marshall, 2003; Gould and Roffey-Barentsen 2018) explained that learners receive information differently and they suggested that the importance to identify and meet individual needs of the learners are for a teacher to design the lesson that will include these differences.
The nature of most ICT learning programmes is hands-on based. Therefore, it is important for me to identify the needs of individual learners in order for them to complete and practice tasks. For example, needs that might affect how a learner interacts with others if they require special needs that will accelerate a learner’s knowledge level to the class’s, motivational or cultural aspects that are hindering their access to the learning content.
In summation, identifying the individual needs of the learners allows me to design a robust lesson plan and meeting those needs ensures all learners are included in the learning journey.
PLANNING TO MEET THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF LEARNERS.
According to Sullo, (2009), effective teachers declare clearly the learning objectives and employs the needs of the learners to create a teaching plan. They further explain that analysing what the learners will acquire and able to do after a lesson, boost instructional focus and heightens learner’s development.
In designing the lesson plan, I clearly outline the aims and objectives of the lesson. Resources needed are listed and strategic to satisfy all learning preferences and styles (Fleming and Mills, 1992; Honey and Mumford, 1992). Then time slots for activities are created to effect learning inclusion and learner engagement. For example, teaching Basic Microsoft Word, the outcome is learners will create business documents. Required resources will be listed and provided for the learners. Time slots are assigned for the lecturing, Q&A, group work, breaks, assessment, homework and lesson closure.
The figure below illustrates the first 10 minutes plan of the lesson.
Figure 2: Demonstrate own planning for individual needs of learners.
Consequently, lesson time management is more efficient, learners identify their needs are being satisfied and engage with learning activities and the expected learning goal is realised.
ADAPTING TEACHING AND LEARNING PLANS TO MEET LEARNERS NEEDS.
Adapting teaching and learning plans to accommodate the individual needs of learners permits learners to access identical learning content and an equal opportunity to exhibit learning (Subban, 2006; Olinghouse, 2008; Sullo, 2009; Westwood, 2018). For example, access to contents should be modified to suit all learning profile; learning process should include activities that would engage learners or easier to understand; use products that present different ways of demonstrating what learners have learnt; and a flexible learning environment that provides learners with spaces for both quiet or collaborative sessions.
In designing an adaptive lesson, I include PowerPoint, videos, pictures, colourful text with large font size, audio clips and much more to the lesson plan. The learning process plan contains a timely mix of group work, tasks based on everyday experiences such as a food shopping list, breaks between activities, accessing VLE obtain content.
More so, group presentation, one-to-one tutoring, issuing homework, worksheets, test or mock exams, are strategies for assessments.
Conclusively, adapting the lesson plan to meet the individual needs of the learners promotes equality, diversity and increases learner’s motivation.
APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR AND RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
It is important to promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others because it ensures that learners have respect for the teacher and permits for a non-disruptive equal learning environment (Machin et al., 2015; Alliance for Learning, 2018; Gould and Roffey-Barentsen, 2018). Otherwise, bad behaviour may create an unconducive learning environment and disengage learners from exchanging ideas (Mossman, 2017).
From practice, I recognize that the social, emotional and behavioural skills of learners vary, and it requires the leadership of the teacher to promote aspects of behaviour that will keep learners engage and focused. Therefore, from the outsets, ground rules are set, highlighting respect for one another with the prohibition of verbal or physical abuse. These ground rules are consistent and applicable to everyone without bias. Thus, learners recognise boundaries and good behaviour is encouraged.
It concludes that promoting appropriate behaviour and respect for others are vital in raising the learning standards in/out of the classroom and help to continue to develop learner’s social, emotional and development skills (Fry, Ketteridge and Marshall, 2003; Jarvis and Jarvis, 2006; Petty, 2009; Gould and Roffey-Barentsen, 2018).
PROMOTING EQUALITY AND VALUE DIVERSITY.
The law requires equal treatment for everyone and an inclusion of diversity in all industry in the United Kingdom (Legislation.gov.uk, 2010). There are founding models of inclusive learning such as Experimental learning (Kolb, 1984) and VAK (Barbe, Milone and Swassing, 1979); these models have been modified by others to create newer models such as Learning Cycle (Honey and Mumford, 1992) and VARK (Fleming and Mills, 1992). These models are valuable in learning and can be employed to promote equality and value diversity.
However, my practice uses the concept of the VARK model in planning the lesson and a mix of other methods for delivering content in the classroom. For example, employing resources such as pictures in PowerPoint presentation, audio clips, worksheets and group work, has a high possibility to satisfy all learning profiles. Furthermore, by creating groups from a random selection of learners or asking learners to volunteer tutoring other learners that may need an assistant, celebrating/acknowledging festivals, learners experience learning from a different perspective.
It concludes that learners will also include in their learning objectives, new experiences and information about other culture.
PURPOSES AND TYPES OF ASSESSMENT USED IN EDUCATION/TRAINING
Preceding sections of this report presented the role and use of assessments in agreeing on individual learning needs and cited that they are deployed at the starting point of learning. Further analysis by Petty (2009) categorised other assessment types as those that provide information during the process of learning (Formative) and others at the end (summative).
During the process of delivering a lesson, I deploy numerous forms of assessment that is necessary for that subject. For example, just observing learners complete tasks, presents information that may indicate a learner require additional need like more time or assistance. Also, group work assesses the social and interpersonal skills of learners. Additionally, assignments and homework verify learner’s understanding of content otherwise, what is needed to ensure they reach their goal. Feedback forms, logs and reflective diaries assess my practice as a teacher and highlight areas for improvement.
Concluding that assessment serves several purposes but overall, they enable planning and the navigation of the learning journey including a constant process that search for improvement.
PART 3: PERSONAL ANALYSIS
Reflective teaching is a practice where teachers analyse the content and method of teaching and learning in order to improve for a better learning outcome. Furthermore, the benefits of using a reflective model include, revealing how I link theory with practice, highlights my strengths and weaknesses, facilitate exploring new ideas and challenges my assumptions (Zeichner, 2008).
In this report, I will be using the Gibbs’ reflective model (Gibbs, 1988) for analysing my teaching practice as illustrated below.
Figure 2: An illustration of the six stages of Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle.