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Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships in Lifelong Learning - Assignment Example

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Your Name Prof's Name Date Roles and Responsibilities in Lifelong Learning Teachers and trainers in a lifelong learning sector have very different responsibilities than those of other educational institutions. Beyond moral and social responsibilities as educators, teachers and trainers in this growing field have to operate within legislation imposed on any lifelong teaching and learning institution, structure or course that receives government funding (Gravells, 2012)…
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Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships in Lifelong Learning
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Prof's Roles and Responsibilities in Lifelong Learning Teachers and trainers in a lifelong learning sector have verydifferent responsibilities than those of other educational institutions. Beyond moral and social responsibilities as educators, teachers and trainers in this growing field have to operate within legislation imposed on any lifelong teaching and learning institution, structure or course that receives government funding (Gravells, 2012). This means that a teacher in a lifelong teaching and learning system must familiarize themselves not just with the principles of sound education in reference to their student's expectations, but that they are expected to maintain morally and often legally binding sets of boundaries and expectations within respect to legislation. There are many different ways that teachers and trainers in lifelong teaching systems work to ensure that they are providing an optimal educational environment for their students, maintaining professional boundaries, and ensuring conformity to legislation. I believe that there are a very specific set of responsibilities and roles as a teaching professional, which are listed above. I would argue that the most important way to abide by these, and thus the most fundamental responsibility, is that of clear, open and direct communication. The process of creating this assists a trainer in understanding their role, and helps make sure that appropriate roles are abided by. Much has been written about the roles and responsibilities of lifeling learning instructors (Gravells 2012). One of the greatest challenges is that this is an incredibly diverse set of educational situations with widely varied groups of teachers and learners, and that a catchall definition often will fail to appreciate the subtle challenges of each role. One of the best ways to ensure that, as an instructor, these roles are understood by everyone involved, including the instructor, is to set a plan of articulation of these roles. This process will force the instructor to evaluate their goals, their learning environment, and all applicable regulations. While the purpose may be to communicate with students, it has the added benefit of clarifying things for the instructor as well. Clearly set expectations can help in a wide variety of ways. The most important of these is setting and maintaining professional boundaries. As Gravells (2012) notes, it is important to "set and maintain professional boundaries" and to not "become too personal" with students. This boundary maintenance can be difficult at the best of times, as teachers and trainers are also expected to connect well with their students; in lifelong teaching situations it is even more difficult as teachers and trainers are usually in age and in many other ways more peers of their students than authority figures. The easiest way to ensure that these boundaries is to make sure they are assertively communicated at the outset of any teaching-learning course. It can be very difficult to attempt to establish boundaries after the fact - this will usually only occur when a instructor already realizes that their relationship is slipping into too personal a sphere. Articulating boundaries at the outset can stop such slipping from happening, help the instructor clarify their own relationship with students, and also serve as an important reference point for any future conversations; instructors would be able to simply refer to an already had discussion if they feel a relationship moving beyond the purely professional. Assertive communication at the outset of a lifelong teaching situation can also help tremendously in creating the best possible learning environment for students. Students are required to enter a lifelong learning course of instruction clearly aware of what they are receiving: how much time it will take, what constraints are in terms of funding, learning outcomes, documentation etc. (Gravells 2012). Ensuring a plan of upfront communication occurs can meet all of these standards. Furthermore, lifelong learners deserve the best possible of educational experiences, and because of their maturity, often know their own learning styles very well. An upfront system of communication about what they can expect from a course of education allows them to address any concerns at the outset, rather than at the end when they have already wasted a great deal of time. Instructors in lifelong learning institutions have a wide variety of roles and responsibilities: everything from record-keeping to setting professional boundaries to establishing positive working relationships with other professionals. But one responsibility that can assure that the rest of these follow in due course is a clear course of communication. Communicating early and assertively forces a professional to evaluate their own roles and expectations, and assures that they can be shared with the students to ensure the best possible learning environment. Works Cited Gravells, A., 2012. Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector. 5rd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Read More
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