Teaching in the lifelong learning sector encompasses students of many: age ranges, backgrounds and abilities. As a result, the roles, responsibilities and boundaries of the tutor can at first appear to be immeasurable.
This assignment will focus upon the role, responsibilities and boundaries of a tutor within the context of teaching in the 16-18 age range bracket. It will reflect upon the needs of learners within my own role on the Study Programme (Learn to Work) at Tyneside Foyer, who have not achieved their potential in mainstream education, and who attend learning with numerous personal, social and academic barriers. For these particular learners, “the experiences associated with learning may have been negative ones: failure, embarrassment, a sense of not belonging, low self-esteem. In the FE sector particularly, we often find students, of whatever age, who have not thrived in mainstream compulsory schooling. Helping them to regain the confidence and motivation to learn is part of what makes teaching in FE such a challenging and rewarding profession.” Wallace (2005, p.95)
The assignment will concentrate on the importance of structure within the learning programme, how individual barriers to learning must be overcome, and the importance of tutor/learner rapport.
A robust induction process is imperative to enable the tutor to understand what has motivated the learner to attend the programme, what they expect to achieve while in learning and to create an Individual Learning Plan. An induction allows a contracting process to occur between the tutor and learner, whereby the tutor is able to set out the rules and expectations of the learner while on programme, and the learner is able to understand what their own responsibilities are while on programme are. A holistic initial assessment within the induction is an important starting point for supporting learners in the Life Long Learning Sector. The role of the tutor is not simply to teach the subject which they specialise in, but also to conduct information, advice and guidance work with individuals. The assessment enables the tutor to understand any possible barriers to learning, including: emotional and behavioural difficulties and other agency involvement (such as the Leaving Care Service and the Youth Offending Service). Through being aware of their own skills base and boundaries, the tutor is able to signpost to other specialist agencies when necessary, and to participate in multi-agency meetings to best support the young person when required.
The induction enables the tutor to look at the learner’s long term aspirations and plan targets with them to achieve these, “If the learners can see some personal gain at the end of the course and the content is relevant to their individual lives, the teacher starts with an advantage.” Walkin (2000, p.223)
The learner’s aspirations often include: career goals, the improvement of grades and/or gaining qualifications. Certain grades in...