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Dear Tom, would the introduction of rules help classroom management in offender learning?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Tom_Bennett, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    My experience is more grounded in mainstream, but I would say that in my judgement pupils in FE/ Offender learning would undoubtedly benefit from structure and boundaries, if only because they are human, and all humans benefit from such things in order to achieve more than they otherwise would have. Without rules and principles to govern the conduct of the room, and to direct the way relationships are formed, we are left with a jungle, where the strongest flourish at the expense of the weak, and your objectives for them become lost in the din of selfishness and self-interest.
    I consulted a colleague who works in adult prisons about this for you, and I posted it on my blog, link below. There is also a very interesting set of responses below it in the comment section which may be food for thought for you. I know it isn't the exact same circumstances, but you may find it a springboard for further discussion.
    Best wishes
  2. Your estate should already have many basic rules that should be automatically transferred into the learning environment. These should have been established by the department as a whole.
    Learning agreements have been used in some establishments that I am aware of, but have not been effective in all.
    The general rule of thumb in our establishments is consistency. This requires reinforcing as necessary - initially it usually means quite extensively, including removals, as appropriate if they break the rules on a number of occasions given fair warning. Then once a new learner joins the group I would expect to see the same occur again as new learners tend to rock the status quo.
    If you are attempting to establish something more standalone I would advise against it. The departments deifnitely work best when everyone is pulling in the same direction; unless of course this is a new initiative that the department as a whole is considering embarking upon.
    Another avenue that may be worth expoloring is to read the inspection rpeorts for similar establishments to yours to get an idea of what they do...
  3. Dear Tom
    Thank you so much for this, I feel unbelievably excited to have generated a post on your blog (I don't get out much!), so you've made my day!
    Lots of the information is really helpful and very much supports our day to day practice and I will print off and take into work tomorrow to share with my colleagues. Not all the ideas are possibly transferable to my place of work, but some could well be so I will take them forward
    Thanks again
  4. Thanks so much for your response, and I agree with you - consistency is exactly what we are trying to achieve, as we do have some rules, but they are not consistently reinforced at present which creates headaches..
    The idea of reading through inspection reports is a great one and I will get on to it!

  5. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hey, think nothing of it. Thank you for inspiring me to look into an area beyond my field.
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom here on his blog, or follow him.

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