Areas of Teaching and Planning and enabling Learning

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In this assignment I will be looking at 4 specific areas of teaching. These topics are Negotiating learning, Inclusive learning, integrating functional skills and communication. The reason for choosing this assignment is to enhance my teaching ability and to make sure every student has the same opportunity to learn from my session. Within this essay there is a specific sub category topic that I have chosen to go more in depth with the theory than the other topics. This subject is learning styles and multiple intelligences. This was also my chosen subject for my micro-teaching session. I have chosen this category because I believe that this subject will greater my ability as a guitar tutor so that I can engage all the students that I teach and make sure that learning is taking place in as many different ways for each individual student. The assignment will be broken down into the 4 topic groups that have been previously stated at the start of the rationale. These topics with then have sub group categories that will relate to the main topic. 1st the theory will be explained, then I will demonstrate how it is used in my teaching. If the theory is not being used in my teaching I will then explain how I could use it and how it will benefit my teaching.

Research is to be carried out using information from the internet, various books, discussions and note taking from class and micro teaching sessions and my thoughts and feeling and past experiences. The essay formation has formed using spider grams and detailed notes.

Negotiating with learners is the first and most important contact you will have with your learners. Gravells (2008 pp.9) identifies negotiating learning goals as, Inducting learners, Icebreaking activates, agreeing ground rules, initial assessment, planning and negotiating goals learning goals and recording learning goals. This process is very important as it helps to make sure you are meeting the needs of your learners. The reasons why they are important follow.

Inducting learners helps them with good housekeeping of your establishment, related Procedures and the course programme. This helps the student to prepare for the programme also to know what help and support is available to them.

Icebreaking Activities are in place for learners to be eased into the course as many students may come with fears from previous experiences of education, it can also allow for more personnel reasons for joining the course if the ice breaker is about what they would like to get form the course. Ice breakers are also used for starter activities to engage learners.

Agreeing ground rules is to create a safe learning environment for your learners. This is in place so the students know what is expected of them i.e. ownership of their own learning and what they can expect from you as the tutor. By agreeing to the ground rules the learners Gravells (2008 pp.14) suggests the students have the right to, be treated with respect, to be listened to and to be assured of confidentially. We have a responsibility to, be on time for the session, not disrupt the session and to switch off mobile phones. This is a great opportunity to negotiate with your learners about the chosen programme making them feel involved in this can also increase their interest, commitment, motivation and learning (AG) in the course. I have never created a group contract with my students but I can see the benefits, as my beginners are sometimes late and beginning to play the guitar as I am telling them of their objectives. I can see now that if the ground rules are there from the start how this can benefit my teaching.

Initial assessment is the start of the relationship between you and you learners, this is where you find out about the students knowledge of the subject, preferred learning styles, any difficulties and disabilities, personnel information and previous qualifications. After this has been processed you can now decide which course applies to the learner. Ensuring the learner is on the right course sets the student on the route toward achieving their goals. As I am not involved in this students have a tendency to want to start at the beginners class where they think there level is best suited. However this is not the case in some students, where they need to be is in the intermediate class instead of the beginners. I will not find this information out until the first session. This would not normally be a problem but with classes being maxed out for me to then start moving students would then mean overcrowding in certain classes meaning less time with students and alteration to session plans. A more effective process would be to have a strict enrolment procedure with more precise requirement s for each course and for me to enrol the students so I can help them with any issues they might have. The reason I think this is important is because,

"The First point of contact is crucial in building the foundations of a good learning experience" (Gravells, A. 10:2008).

Methods of assessment should be done before you begin teaching your class (Gravells, A. 17:2008). These methods can include preferred learning styles, Skills and knowledge of the subject. These methods can come in the forms of tests, summative assessment and questionnaires. Due to limitations in time constraints I am unable to pursue the above methods of assessment. On the other hand if these limitations did not occur I would use these methods effectively. For example if I was aware of individual learning styles I would be able to plan effectively for individual pupils needs allowing them to reach their full potential and giving them the opportunity to achieve their learning goals.

Planning and negotiating learning goals is the bulk of the course content, This is what has attracted the learner to the course or what the learner has negotiated with the teacher what they want to learn from the course. All goals must be SMART, this helps the students to understand what is being asked of them. These SMART goals can long term and short term goals. This works very effectively in my guitar class as there is specific learner goals decided by the college but also there is space on their ILPs for individual learner goals where I can negotiate with learners the own goals which gives them more motivation to work harder.

Recording learner goals is a form of tracking sheet for the individual leaner. This is called an individual learning plan or ILPS. This helps learners see their progressive goals and what they are to achieve by the end of the course. ILP are a major part in my course, it outlines each specific goals from the establishment and also form their own personnel goals. Students will score a number between 1 to 5 on how their knowledge of each subject and gradually as a long term goal hope to achieve all goals at level 5 to complete the course and move to the next level of programme. This is how the student can see their progression and how they are going to get there. That is how the system works in my establishment and works very well as there is tutor led outcomes and student led outcomes.

" If you don't know where you are going, it is difficult to select a means of getting there" Magner (1984)

Inclusive Learning

Inclusive learning is about meeting the needs of every individual learner in the class. It is in effect so that every student has the chance to achieve their goals and also for their right to be there. That is why the previous chapter is so important; it is so we can gain as much information about the learner as possible. Only then can we plan to employ inclusive learning. Here are topics that relate to inclusive learning.

Inclusive Learning Environment

If you have a leaner with a disability, don't label them as 'disabled' but consider them as an individual with a variation of ability. These variations are what make your learners unique, and they shouldn't be excluded from the learning process as a result. (Gravells, A. 25:2008

There are many provisions and precautions to take in to account when adopting a room for inclusive learning, such as heating, wheelchair, white board, smart board the height of benches and tables, work station, any additional support and space. It is important that the teacher thinks in advance about if there is a wheel chair user in the class room, the teachers should adopt the room before the student enters the room so learner doesn't feel like the dynamic of the room has changed for them. For inclusive learning to be achievable in my environment allot of space is required, an amp for each student, chairs without arms. Students are required to bring their own instruments, but if they don't have any I can borrow from the college facilities. I feel that I achieve an inclusive environment in my session.

Learning Styles

Learning styles is various ways and approaches of learning. Knowing these learning styles can help you develop coping strategies for your weaknesses and capitalize you strengths. Visual, auditory and kinetic are the basic leaning styles. This information is to be taken before the course starts and can be carried out in the form of a questionnaire or an online test. It is import for inclusive learning that you are aware of your student's preferred learning styles as this will enable learning to be achieved. There are many theories that go deeper than the VAK method. Benjamin Bloom 'Blooms Taxomny' believes that there are three different domains of learning, Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. He then subdivides them into sub categories working form a low order skill to achieve a high order skill.

Cognitive domain = knowledge = comprehension = application=analysis=evaluation.

Affective domain = Receiving = responding = valuing = organising and conceptuisation = characterising.

Psychomotor domain = imitation =manipulation =precision = articulation = naturalisation.

There is also David Klobs Learning style theory. This is where learning takes place over a four stage cycle; Concrete experience leading to observation and reflection to abstract conceptualisation to active experimentation. I believe that in my own teaching that I have been using a few of these techniques but have not known the theory behind them. Now that I am aware I can plan to use different methods of learning styles and models of learning so that I can ensure that I am doing everything possible to promote inclusive learning.

Multiple intelligences

Is a method of measuring different types of intelligence. This was contrived by Howard Gardner in 1983. There are seven different types of intelligence, Logical, visual, verbal, interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical and kinetic. This for me was a revelation in learning. If i am aware of my personnel intelligence or my students intelligence it makes a more direct route for learning. For me this goes one step further than VAK, its letting you know how your learners will learn best. I will be devising a test for my students next year so I can find out their multiple intelligence so I can enable effective learning in the best way that they learn, making lesson more enjoyable and easy to take in and retain information that suits the individual needs.

"If a child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns." Howard Gardner 1983


Are invaluable tools for teachers, especially if the last 2 topics in your teaching have been covered. Resources can help you meet all your students' needs and help cover all learning styles. Recourses can be handouts, people, books, internet and presentations.

Resources are the equipment and aids that a teacher or learner will use to promote learning. They can be classified in the say was that learner styles are classified and therefore a teacher will be able to choose resources to meet individual need. (Wilson. L 56.2008

As I am a music teacher resources are an invaluable tool for my class. The list of resources I use in one of my session would be, Presentation, whiteboards, Smart boards handouts, amps, guitar, cd player, YouTube, internet. This is just to name a few and within using these resources I can see through doing this assignment that I am covering all learning styles in my session enabling inclusive learning in my classroom.

Integrating functional Skills

(Wilson. L 56.2008 states, Functional skills are a development initiative to standardise qualifications for English, maths and ICT. In the past they have been known buy several names, core skills, common skills, basic skills, key skills and minimum core. It is said that in order to meet the demands for their qualifications they will need the basic minimum core requirements if they are to succeed in learning, work and life. This will enable and ensure that every learner has the chance and opportunity to learn.

In my specialist field of music functional skills is adopted in every lesson. As the students need to know different names of rhythms, note names, guitar parts, different musicians names and Italian meanings for soft and loud and other various dynamic sayings they will be writing these names down as they know there will be a test, Or they might have task to write down all different aspect of the blues and improvisation. To make sure this is being retained there will be questionnaires through the year where the students will be writing down all the different topics that we have covered with names and meanings employing English into my session. Maths has always played a big part in my lessons as sometime to come up with idea we use different formulas to create different sounds. In my session maths even at the basic level is started as soon as they pick up their instrument, for example when we're playing a song learners would have to count through different bars to follow the music, or use fractions to divide the beats so they know how many beats are in the bar. Students thought the year are tested on these topics. ICT would be incorporated in researching all of the topics as stated previous or connecting to my web site where they can gain information about the session or obtain files that have been missed if they have been absent. I feel in using these methods I am helping my students better themselves in the minimum core elements. As there is no test required for the course that I run on minimum core, I feel I embed functional to the level that is required to my learners and their qualification.


Communication is a means of passing on information from one person to another; it can be verbal, non verbal or written.( Gravells, A. 84:2008)

There are many different ways of communicating and barriers to communication and many theories to overcoming these barriers. In the next few paragraphs I will be looking at different models of communication for both groups and individual and how to overcome these barriers, as barriers can stop learners from wanting to enter into the educational system, this could be because of previous learning experiences where the teacher might have spoke to quickly or not given clear direction to their task. All of these factors are based on good communication skills to help your student achieve their goals.

Verbal and non verbal Communication

Gravell. A .86 explains about verbal and non verbal communication as the foundations of communication. This includes the presentation of yourself and the way in which you present you session. The key points that Gravell employs are making sure you tone is clear and calm and emphasising new and unusual words, be aware of posture and the use jargon. Always back up explanations with handouts and allow time for questions. And most importantly use active listening skills and giving constructive and positive feedback as this means the communication is being transmitted and received and then the learner can reflect. The non verbal is more about how you present yourself in your mannerisms, this can be from the way you dress, hair, eye contact and body language. It is always important to check how you look in the mirror with your body language as what you may think you look like might not be what the learners see.

Next a more in depth model of how connections of communication are made between teacher and learner.

Shannon and weaver in 1994 suggest one easy way to understand a model of communication and that is;

An encoder - the means of sending the message (speaking/writing).

A message - something to say.

A channel - way of sending the message.

A decoder - a means of receiving the message (listening/reading).

A receiver - the person to send the message to.

Communication is a vital part in learning, in my teaching I have always thought I have good communication skills both verbal and non verbal and have always had a natural instinct of how different learners needed to be approached with individual communications skills. In doing this assignment it now allows me to adapt more theory to my natural ability to understand learners and in finding out about my interpersonal and intrapersonal multiple intelligence, which allows me to understand why I am natural a good communicator with learners.

Barriers to learning

Transactional analysis (Over coming barriers to learning)

Transactional analysis is a theory that was confirmed by Eric Berne in the 50s. this is 3 state's of egos, Child ego state, Parent ego state and the adult ego state. This theory suggests we are all made up of three alter egos. Linda Wilson describes these states as;

Child ego state, the dependent state, this would mean we would seek assurances, displaying immature behaviour, temper tantrum, baby talk and excuses.

Parent ego state is the voice of authority, always advocate values like, don't lie, cheat and also refer to bribing.

Adult ego state, this is our independent state, ability to think and act responsible and mature to all situations.

(how do we deal with these ego states)

By being aware of these theories can help us with students who have barriers to learning that they might not understand themselves. These are expressions and feelings that are buried within us and start from when we are children. Learners might not understand this. Form learning about this topic, I have learned about my own ego states and how to deal with them and also how I can help my students overcome their barriers they might have because of these states.

Barriers in learning can also become apparent when you have a group of learners working on one task. Belbin (1993) identified team roles into 9 different categories see appendix.

By knowing these different states and roles we are able to construct different groups together so they work at their best and also letting us know their strengths and weakness are. In learning about this theory I can now see it in action in my own teaching of students. I have gained much knowledge in this area. This will now allow me to mange my learners and make working in groups more effectively as I need to take into account (in group work) the, Task needs, team needs and individual needs.

Another theory of overcoming barriers in group situations is a theory called the "The Johari Window" by Joseph Luft and Harringham. This is a theory which helps students trust others and except feedback. Johari Window theory consistis of 4 boxes ( see appendix) these boxes contains information about ourselves and puts into 4 different catogries. The areas consist of

1 Open area = Know to self

2Blind area = Not know to our self

3 Hidden area = not know to others

4 unknown area = not know to others

These boxes that these catgaogories that these topics are put in are can grow or shrink in size depending on how much the learner would want to share with the group. Letting people into an area that is unknown to other members of the group will l start to enhance trust in the group making a more stronger group. The theory goes allot deeper that what i have stated, but i can see the purpose of the theory and would like to do more personell research on how to work with this theory to help learners bea able to receive feeback and to work better as a group.