Unit 2 Planning & enabling learning
This assessment is divided into four main sections; Negotiating with learners, Inclusive learning, Integrating Functional Skills and Communicating (verbally and non-verbally). It will first consider what is necessary when negotiating the teaching and learning cycle with students and then go on to describe how functional skills might be implemented into an adult educational course. The third point focuses on communication (verbal and non-verbal) as well as possible barriers that affect the learning process. And finally it will conclude why planning and enabling learning is important and forms the foundation for effective teaching practices.
Negotiating with learners
The main purpose of negotiating the learning process in advance with the student is to ascertain a learners’ existing ability, agree learning aims and objectives, provide guidance and advice, highlight potential outcomes and identify teaching strategies and learning styles which are likely to prove successful, this usually happens in the form of a diagnostic assessment or often heard referred to as ‘Initial Assessment’. An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is then created for each learner on the basis of the results of the assessment. It provides a clear record of intended goals and achievements made by the learner during and at the end of the course (Petty 2009).
Agreeing the learning process with students in advance will ensure all prior learning and experiences are taken into account and they start learning at a place which best suits their individual requirement and ability whilst also identifying any needs for additional learning support or referral.
The learning commitment of adults is often combined with family and other responsibilities, and they may not be in the position to devote as much time to their studies as they would like. A teacher will recognise the uniqueness of each individual and work with them in ways to achieve his/her learning objectives. Facilitating inclusive learning could happen by offering learning programmes using IT such as; Skype, email or e-learning. And even extend learning times to allow participants to attend classes which otherwise would be inaccessible due to work of life commitments.
Entitlement, equality and inclusiveness are key elements when considering the planning and preparation of any learning being delivered. According to Susan Wallace (2001) FENTO Standards 2000 states:
Equality of opportunity is a crucial foundation upon which good teaching, learning and assessment are based. All learners should have access to appropriate educational opportunities regardless of ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, or degree of learning disability and /or difficulty…
Adopting the procedure for inclusive learning allows students to achieve irrespective of their ability, enabling them to feel even more driven to learn. Accomplishing something on a regular basis should improve their self-development, self-esteem and provide the necessary motivation to succeed. Alan Rogers (2002) states “Teaching adults is a matter of setting up a programme of activities, study and practice and encouraging and enabling the student participants to engage in it”.
Integrating functional skills
Embedding functional skills into adult learning can happen alongside the main subject being delivered, whether it is literacy (choosing the correct vocabulary and tone), numeracy (devising a simple graph to represent numerical data), IT (use the internet to carry out research) or speaking and listening in order to communicate effectively. The purpose of functional skills is to equip learners with the required knowledge to deal with problems practically and confidently which occur on a daily basis or challenges faced in life generally. Functional skills are real skills in communication, problem solving, speaking and listening, time