Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

To enable both students to pass the course they both undertook the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PETALS) qualification at distance learning prior to attending the five day Assessing Vocational Achievement (VA) course. Learner 1 Profile: Peter Peter grew up in Barnacles and when he left school he gained employment as a coal miner where he worked as part of a crew that was responsible for the laying out of the mine. For the last 25 years Peter worked for a company in Tanzania who specialize in diamond mining where he was a shift supervisor.

From this it was highlighted by Peter that there was a need for health and safety training due to far too many incidents that could have been avoided. Motivation and aspirations Peter chose to attend both the PETALS and VA courses after consultation with the management so there was both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in his decision. On completion of both courses he is hoping to be tasked with setting up training establishments for the company at the other mines within Tanzania.

Due to having no formal teaching qualifications Peter emphasized to his company that in order to deliver Health and Safety he would need to undertake the POTTS and VA qualification, both of which would ensure that all workers were being instructed correctly and in turn assessed for their individual Job role and possible promotion. Social or cultural issues In undertaking both these qualifications Peter has been able to take into account the needs of all his learners, due to his work experience which gave him an understanding of a very diverse social ethic.

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By undertaking the PETALS qualification Peter has been able to identify different ways and means to teach the subject of health and safety which have ensured that the correct message is passed across. Preferred way of learning Pewter’s own individual way of teaching and learning is very kinesthesia which was highlighted in the initial interview, this comes from his original background of the Job which is very hands on and the way to learn was very much “show me and I will do”. Peter has a very good level of language, literacy and innumeracy however he writes colloquially.

Peter has limited experience of CIT which was again highlighted in the initial interview Beth is 25 years old. She left school at 16 and attended her local college in Rotterdam where she studied unisex hairdressing as well as undertaking a beauty hearty course. Whilst at college she worked for a unisex salon where she was employed as a Junior stylist and her main role was to book people in for consultations and ensure that salon equipment was prepared for client’s appointments, all of which took place under supervision of her mentor.

The mentor was also there to aid Beth through all aspects of the qualification and marked off her work book as tasks were completed. After completing her 2 year course at college Beth was successfully employed by the salon and was entrusted with her own client list. Beth still worked closely with her enter who ensured that Beth put into practice what she had learnt, but more importantly Beth was progressing towards her next level within the industry. Beth took a year out to have a baby but she ensured that she kept up to date in the hairdressing and beauty commerce.

On returning back to work Beth completed all her qualifications and was deemed fully competent in all areas of the hair and beauty industry and in time Beth acted as a mentor too number of Junior stylists. Since becoming qualified Beth has been asked by the college she attended as a student to come back and teach evening classes once a week in hair and beauty. Beth had no recognized teaching experience so to enable her to fulfill her position the college offered to pay for her PETALS qualification.

On top of this the salon also wished Beth to not only act as a mentor but as an assessor which would then enable them to work in conjunction with various colleges with a view to taking on trainees in the future. With the salon offering to pay for the assessor course and the college paying for the PETALS qualification Beth was motivated both intrinsically and extrinsically by the responsibility that was being placed on her by the college and the alone. She has aspirations now to ensure that the learners she takes under her wing fulfill their own potential in the hair and beauty industry.

Beth is a kinesthesia learner which was highlighted in the initial interview and the Honey and Muffed questionnaire. She has good language, literacy and innumeracy skills and this was shown within the written work she produced and interviews with myself. Beth has grown up in a computerized era so her CIT skills are at a very good level and she is trying out new ways to bring her line of work into a more CIT friendly environment. In order to achieve the final learning outcome it is important to use a combination of teaching methods and to make the classroom environment as stimulating and interactive as possible.

Students learn in many different ways. Some students are visual learners, while others are auditory or kinesthesia learners. Visual learners learn visually by means of charts, graphs, and pictures. Auditory learners learn by listening to lectures and reading. Kinesthesia learners learn by doing, students can have mixed learning styles. It is important for teachers to incorporate in their auricular activities related to each of these learning styles so that all students are able to succeed in their classes.

While we use all of our senses to take in information, we each seem to have preferences in how we learn. In order to help all students learn, we need to teach to as many of these preferences as possible (Curare’s, 2008). Kef (1979) defines learning styles as the “composite of characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment. ” Androgyny Knowles (1984) proposed that adults learn differently to children.

For Knowles, androgyny (adult learning) was premised on at least four crucial assumptions about the characteristics of adult learners that are different from the assumptions about child learners on which traditional pedagogy (child learning) is premised. A fifth was added later. 1 . Self-concept 2. Experience 3. Readiness to learn 4. Orientation to learning 5. Motivation to learn: (Knowles MM 2). From this, to support adult learning we need to encourage reflection, making mistakes, discussing, learning from others and questioning why we need to know hat we do.

Most of the learners who undertake our courses are adults of varying ages so looking into androgyny and how we focus our learning strategies towards adult learners is very important; we must structure that learning experience based against life experience to enable us to move forward and gather the knowledge that is required. This in turn will reinforce the understanding that we have and enable us to gather the new information and process it. (Life,1991).

He mentions that that by motivating the adult learner we must take into account their Cognitive Interest: to learn for the sake of learning, seek knowledge for TTS own sake, and to satisfy an inquiring mind. We must always try to motivate our learners’ so they can fulfill their own true potential. Adult learners resist learning when they feel others are imposing information, ideas or actions on them (Faddishness, 2000). As a teacher it is important that our primary role is to facilitate the students’ towards self-directed and responsible learning and always nurture the students’ core inspiration to learn. L never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. ” (Albert Einstein, no date) Stewart and Felicity (1992) define learning styles as those “educational conditions under which a student is most likely to learn. ” Thus, learning styles are not really concerned with what learners learn, but rather how they prefer to learn”. By taking a wider look at the cognitive theory of learning we need to understand what our learner wishes to achieve and in some cases we may need to structure the learning for them so they develop the skill to retain the information required for that particular task.

By reflecting on our own experiences as learners, do our learners sis to be taught the way we were taught or should we look at it from the point that we teach the way that people wish to learn? No matter what learning theory or style we employ the needs of the learner need to be taken in to consideration at all times. Experiential Learning Cycle To have a better understanding of the learning experience the power of reflective practice is an excellent way to analyses not only the knowledge that has been passed on but in turn received.

Kola, (1984) discusses the principle that a person will learn through both discovery and experience. The origins of the book are taken from the experiential work of (Lenin, Pigged, Dewey, Firer James), forming a unique perspective on learning and development; this is why the theory is called “experiential”. As noted in the Journal of innovative education “Learning is a holistic set of processes that are continuous, with a lesser emphasis on outcomes” (Hawk et al. 2007) My lessons follow Kola’s learning cycle without the learner actually knowing it.

They all produce work which is then sent in for review, fulfilling the doing part. Once I have assessed the work, the work is then sent back to the learner and they in turn fleet and learn from the experience. Kola’s (1984) model shows the learning process of adult learning and displays that what we understand about how we naturally learn, grow and develop are all within in the learning process To enable us to progress we should look at learning as a Journey with new experiences and challenges at every turn and if learning is not seen as beneficial then it is likely to be quickly forgotten.

Teaching observations that are a requirement for both PETALS and STALLS require the students to reflect on their individual teaching in the form of self-assessment, which hen incorporated with peer assessment gives them a good base line for areas they need to improve on but also highlights their individual strengths. Communities of Practice – Social and situational learning By learning together the students that I teach for the VA qualification are able to participate in shared knowledge and learn for each other picking up on mistakes and strengths in order to understand the procedures.

In a nutshell: Communities of Practice (COP) are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. Winger circa 2007). By instilling COP into all our learners what we should also look at is behaviorism and how we can teach our students. Changes in behavior are the result of an individual’s response to events, or stimuli that occur in the environment. (Skinner no date). By ensuring feedback is given in both positive and developmental areas the learner’s behavior will change and as a result progression will be made.

Learning Outcomes I think all learners have the same goal in wanting to achieve the teaching qualification and gain the assessor qualification. The process that I go through to enable my learners to achieve their own personal aim is the same; the way they learn and understand will be different. The main learning outcomes that I try to instill into all learners are the process of planning and the understanding that all learners are different. Looking at Constructivism as a theory some learners will grasp these learning outcomes quicker and easier than others, but in all cases these skills need to be built on.

How different types of assessment help support and monitor learning A main area of the Assessing Qualification is discussion, based on Principles and Practice of Assessment, some learners are initially more inhibited or reluctant in their participation and need to be brought into the group simply by the positive peer encouragement from the more enthusiastic learners with whom they are working. Such a self-regulating assessment tool as discussion naturally fosters inclusively and diversity within the group.

Within discussion potential communication barriers of highly differing competencies in functional skills are overcome as the activity is easily achieved (working in groups, verbal communication) by a single well-designed and professionally executed learning activity. Through simple question and answer sessions I am able to give advice and indications to guide the learners towards the correct answers. This can be beneficial, as it develops the learners’ listening skills, but still permits them to consider their own answers.

Having solved the question themselves they are more likely to own the answer and remember the learning attained. Good Q can actively energies and aid social bonding of strangers composing the group. When learning is taking place there are simultaneous benefits in creating greater social bonding and icebreakers a newly formed group. As numerous people can suggest incorrect answers it can become clear that inhibitions at failure are overcome by many learners who simply offered their best answers so as to participate.

The question and answer sections can comprise of a succession of small parts based around pre-set questions. The number of questions can be easily changed and the exercise paused or aborted at the trainer’s will depending on any other time constraints encountered on the day. It is a flexible exercise that can be deployed to suit the occasion as a formal assessment exercise with assessment and development opportunities. From each formal answer, it is possible to generate extended questioning which are relevant to the larger topic of assessing.

This can appear to create added interest as the exercise can go beyond the expected constraints of the questions. It can also allow a customization of the course content to answer and clarify other relevant learning points put forward by the group while answering the main questions. This assessment appears to fulfill its own objective in answering the questions set; but does benefit from not being contained and able to adapt to the dynamic espouses given during the session.

Learning informally, from related material raised while answering the directed questions, can be an added major strength of the question and answer session. “Assessment is a way of finding out if learning has taken place. It enables you, the assessor, to ascertain if your learner has gain the required skill and knowledge needed at a given point towards their programmer or qualification” (Gravels, 2009: 7). Applying learning and assessment theories It is clear that when selecting assessment methods they must be valid and reliable or the topic.

Therefore, using a balanced range of assessment methods – formatively throughout the learning – quite often achieves the best balance between main educational aims and fostering a positive social learning experience for all Having considered learning and assessment theories the next question to be answered is the purpose or reason we are carrying out any form of learning and assessment. Before we start we need to ensure that what we are planning fulfills the demands of the criteria being taught. To do this we must examine the reasons for he learning and assessment and the information we want to get back from the students completing the task.

Considerations must be taken into account regarding what information you want to get back from the task and how you are going to use that information. By supporting the learners through each stage of the learning environment I am able to see a clear development and progression. I ensure that I fully explain each learning objective and clarify this after seeing the learners conduct the interviews with their candidates. This ensures both the learners and myself that we can proceed to the next stage.