The teaching cycle must be followed to ensure effective teaching and learning is achieved. The cycle consists of identifying needs and planning, designing, facilitating, assessing and evaluating. (Gravells and Simpson 2008). The role, responsibilities and boundaries of the teacher in Further Education will be reviewed.
The role of the teacher In Further Education is to assess individual learning styles considering the learner’s previous experience and background.It is important to be aware of adult learners needs as stated by Knowles et al (2005) in the andragogical model of learning. The teacher must then identify and use various teaching methods to ensure all learning styles are met and the sessions are kept interesting. Flemming (1987) categorised learning styles as visual, aural, reading and writing and kinaesthetic (VARK). It is important that teachers incorporate these methods of learning into the sessions.This means that the teacher must be aware of differential learning needs and be able to adapt and be flexible in order to cope with them. Boundaries may occur if the teacher does not identify any learning difficulties and therefore not assist the learner to obtain additional help to ensure the learning is achieved.
Teaching sessions must have aims and objectives clearly outlined and applicable to the subject. Adult learners need to know why they have to learn a certain topic. (Knowles et al 2005).A creative learning environment must be maintained by addressing learners’ basic needs such as comfort and safety and ensuring there is respect between the learners and teacher along with classroom management. Boundaries may occur when inappropriate behaviour of students is not challenged or the teacher uses her authority in an inappropriate way.
The teacher must recognise the importance of being a role model and maintain professionalism. It is important to set ground rules in order to maintain a safe learning environment.Harden and Crosby (2000) state that the teachers’ role is to be a learning facilitator to encourage a more student-centred view of learning. This is integral to andragogy.
Support, guidance and encouragement must be given throughout the learning and the student assisted to take ownership for their own learning The teacher is responsible for formatively assessing students, through various assessment methods including discussions, feedback, assignments, observations and tutorials.This is an ongoing assessment to measure the individuals learning and feedback given must be constructive. Reece and Walker (2004) state that this assessment is useful in telling the student how the learning is proceeding and the telling the teacher the success of the teaching. A summative assessment is completed at the end of the learning to ensure that the student has learned sufficiently and often an examination or observation is completed. The teacher is responsible for teaching and assessing to the awarding body taking note of any standards that must be achieved.
The teacher must also systematically evaluate and reflect on her own teaching and the students’ learning throughout and at the end of the course, gaining feedback from students. This identifies any problems that can be overcome in the teaching methods or the course structure, is useful for the student and by evaluating experiences facilitates personal and professional development. The teacher is responsible for ensuring that they adhere to health and safety, equality, discrimination, data protection, complaints and grievance policies, procedures and legislation at all times.The Institute for Further Learning (2007), which is the professional body for teachers, has a Code of Professional Conduct for teachers which states that teachers should adhere to the six behaviours – integrity, respect, care, practice, disclosure and responsibility.
Teachers are also responsible to maintain their professional status by having the appropriate teaching qualifications, registering with the professional body and completing continuing professional development, staff development, participating in team meetings and annual performance reviews and keeping accurate records of these.They are responsible for adhering to the professional values, professional knowledge and understanding and professional practice as detailed in the professional standards for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector (Lifelong Learning UK 2007) The role, responsibilities and boundaries of the teacher in Further Education are many. By following the teaching cycle these may be identified and reviewed thus making the teacher aware of the specific issues she must understand and follow