Negotiating is one of the keys to effective communication. Finding out why learners want to do something (or not), and establishing compromise is when and how a more favourable environment will emerge; a more adult relationship.' (Wilson2008:220)
Negotiating is communication intended to resolve different aspirations and produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. It is the primary method of alternative dispute resolution. Negotiation occurs in business, non-profit organizations, and government branches, legal proceedings, among nations and in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting, and everyday life.
'If you don't know where you are going, it is difficult to select a suitable means for getting there.' (Mager1984)
A teacher must understand ways to negotiate individual appropriate goals with learners. Initial assessment is used to assess if a student is on the correct course covering why the student is there, what previous experience they have had, their strengths, what's their weaknesses are, their confidence levels, their personal life issues, their character, their passion, their need for motivation and what they are hoping to gain from the course. Initial assessment can be used to design and inform formative assessment by evaluating student knowledge of a new subject one is introducing.
My 14-16 Year 11 students were refusing to watch a vital video that cover some test information and would rather write the test without watching the video but then I suggested that they have a break first then watch the video then write their test but then to my amazement they said that they would watch the video first then take the break and then write the test.
'The aim is not for students to simply take part in further education but to be actively included and fully engaged in their learning. At the heart of our thinking lies the idea of match or fit between how the learner learns best, what they need and want to learn and what is required from the FE sector, the college and the teachers for successful learning to take place.' (Tomlinson1996:32)
'Inclusion, diversity, entitlement, differentiation, ensuring equal opportunities and personalised learning all require teachers to treat students as individuals.' (Petty2009:560)
When it comes to inclusive learning, resources play a very important role. Without the right resources some learners cannot cope in the classroom situation and are too embarrassed to admit they don't understand or they are struggling to keeping up with the work. Learning Support Assistant (LSA) is plays a very important role in the classroom, if the LSA does not understand, chances are the learners don't. Adaptation to ones lesson plan such as timing and differentiation learning will be essential and different types of delivery methods such as visual, kinaesthetic, aural, reading/writing, table arrangements, type of text font and colour of paper used is necessary when teaching various learners and special aids are needed for learners with blindness, deafness and learners with physical and learning disabilities.
'Functional skills are a development initiative to standardise qualifications for English, maths and ICT.' (Wilson 2008:41)
In my subject area learners will be integrating the functional skills of language by learning the appropriate way of talking to customers face to face or on a telephone, for talking to parts department for describing or ordering of parts, for talking to the administration staff for completion or the correct costing of job cards and for advising the service adviser that the there are problems with a customers vehicle; as for literacy, learners have to been able to read and write information for workshop manuals, phase test or assessment tasks, to read the customers request or write what work they have carried out on job cards, as for maths the learners have to perform various calculations of how to work out gearbox ratios of a transmission, working out an engines compression ratios, working out the resistant of a electrical circuit and working out how much friction material is left on a set of brake pads; and as for ICT learners are requested to do online summative assessments per subject, learners will also practice for the online test with Tom Denton ATT training software, learners will also use the online workshop manuals for data on the vehicle they are working on and learners to do research on different types of engines and transmissions.
'Communication is a means of passing on information from one person to another; it can be verbal, non-verbal or written.' (Gravells Simpson2008:71)
'Communication and learning requires that the following chain works perfectly: what I mean â†’ what I say â†’ what they hear â†’ what they understand' (Petty2009:40)
Without communication there will be no way to have an exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, such as speech, signals, writing, negotiating or behaviour. Realistically teaching cannot take place without communication. Forms of communication we use in teaching are verbal otherwise known as linguistics usually understood as the process of communication through language with semantics; syntax or phonology; non-verbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Such messages can be communicated through gesture; body language or posture; facial expression and eye contact; object communication such as clothing, hairstyles or even architecture; symbols and info graphics. Speech may also contain nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, emotion and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, phonetics and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the use of emoticons. Possible barriers of communication in teaching such as a teacher or a fellow student does not understand another students due to difference in culture, language or different accents, age difference, dress code or gender; other types of barriers can be the environment of the lesson as well as due to learning and physical disabilities such as slow processing of information, any type of blindness, dyslexia, ADHD, Aspergers syndrome and any other learning difficulties on autism spectrum.
'It's war out there' 'They are out to get you' (Cowley2003:52, 83)
Without any functional skills a teacher will struggle to provide the correct information to the learners in a lesson which will lead to confusion amongst the learners, therefore without functional skills there will be insufficient communication and negotiation. It is not only for a teacher's own personnel benefit to have good communication skills and functional skills it is essential, for a teacher needs to be able to negotiate with their learners in order to create inclusion in a classroom.
Cowley, S. (2003) Getting the Buggers to Behave. 2nd ed. London: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
Gravells, A. (2008) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector. 3rded. Exeter: Learning Matters
Gravells, A. (2009) Principles and Practice of Assessment in the Lifelong Learning Sector Exeter: Learning Matters
Gravells, A. and Simpson, S. (2008) Planning and Enabling Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Mager, R.F. (1984) Preparing Instructional Objectives. 2nded. Belmont CA: David S Lake.
Petty, G. (2009) Teaching Today: A Practical Guide. 4thed. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
Tomlinson, M. (1996) Inclusive Learning. Further Education Funding Council Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities.
Wilson, L. (2008) Practical Teaching: A Guide to PTLLS & CTLLS. London: Cengage Learning EMEA.