Consider your own roles and responsibilities in the lifelong learning sector, provide an explanation of how the teacher training cycle applies to your present or future teaching circumstances.
The definition of a role is, ‘The part played by the person as a societal expectation’ Taylor (2013).
Responsibility can be defined as, ‘the person or thing for which one is responsible’ Taylor (2013).
To place these definitions within the context of this task, the main roles and responsibilities of a teacher is to actively teach learners in a way that will engage and involve them. In order to do this effectively, the teacher will need to consider the level of learning the student is currently at. The teacher will also have to be capable of tailoring their use of language accordingly to enable the learning process to be managed from start to finish. For learning to take place it is important that the teacher gives constructive feedback throughout. Their success will be determined by their age and experience, their learners age and experience, the subject matter and the environment that is available for them to teach in. Taylor (2000).
The author will now go on to provide an explanation of how the roles and responsibilities of a Business Studies Teacher fit within the ‘Teaching and Learning Cycle.’
The Teaching and Learning Cycle consists of five key stages to include: Identification of Needs
Quality Assurance and Evaluation
For the purpose of this task the two teaching roles that the author has chosen to explain within the ‘Identification of Needs’ stage are:
The role of an Interviewer
The role of a Mentor
The responsibility of an Interviewer within the field of Business studies would be to obtain information about the students who would be potentially joining up to do a ‘Marketing’ course. Doing this would be vital to ensure that the potential learners have the capabilities to understand the level of work that is taught to them. The Interviewer would therefore need to determine what the students GCSE grades are; particularly within Mathematics, English, Business Studies and ICT. The interviewer would conduct an entry assessment to ensure that each student has the right level of knowledge within these particular subject matters. The assessment may involve for example candidates having to present a Power Point presentation based on analysing and describing some market research data. This would allow the Interviewer to access the candidates Mathematical, English, ICT and Business Studies skills from one small assessment. (The results from this may prove particularly useful if the candidates need to be short-listed).
It would also be the interviewers responsibility to establish the reasons behind the student wanting to study the subject. For example if the student is looking to pursue a career in Accounting it would be apparent to the interviewer that the candidate is not going to fulfil there aspirations from studying a marketing course and therefore it would need to be discussed with the candidate whether the course would be right for them.
To fulfil the role of a ‘Mentor,’ it would be the teachers responsibility to provide a learning plan. A Learning Plan would be devised for the teacher to identify what he/she perceives the student to be capable of achieving. Blue Sky Coaching (2008), states that one of the things that can be done to be a good mentor is to acknowledge achievements. “Highlight for your mentee any achievements they might have forgotten, to help build their confidence. Remember to celebrate their successes on your mentoring journey too.”
Within the field of Business Studies it would be the teachers responsibility to use the information collated from the initial interview i.e. GCSE results achieved, special learning requirements (dyslexia, autism etc,) score from initial course assessment and progress made within the first few weeks of the course to determine what direction and level the student is aspiring towards. For example if the student has a grade A in English but C grade in Mathematics the mentor will be aware that they need to set different aspirations for the Finance module in relation to the Human Resources module. However in order for the learner to achieve a good overall result, the mentor would identify that the candidate would need more help and support when it comes to analysing and carrying out profit and loss accounts and balance sheets, and therefore would set the objective of setting practice exam style questions.
Walkin (2000:20), states that individual differences in adult learners need to be considered in terms of the different: Levels of motivation and expectations retention level, long-term and short term memories knowledge skills, practical abilities and experiences access to facilities, resources, time and support for study when in and out of class powers of concentration and problem-solving skills confidence levels and capacity for learning new things.
The two roles identified within the ‘planning’ stage are:
The role of a Resource Developer
The role of an Organiser
As a Resource Developer the teacher would be responsible for designing his or her own resources for students to use in a lesson or lecture that they would be running. For example a Business Studies teacher may decide to illustrate to his or her students how branding and marketing influences the spending powers of the market. This could be achieved by the Teacher purchasing a number of different brands of biscuits, removing the packaging, labelling the biscuits as brand A, B, C, D, E and conducting taste testing within their students. The teacher would be responsible for designing a ‘grading system’ against I.e. crumbliness, texture, sweetness, appearance etc. This information would then be used to see if the students can match the results to each biscuit brand. This would illustrate to the students how effective marketing strategies can be in determining market purchase choices.
The responsibility of an organiser might be to arrange an off-site visit or field trip. The teacher may decide to arrange an off-site visit that involves the students devising a series of open interview questions to put to a number of senior members of staff within a particular market sector to determine, ‘how effective CRM (Customer Relationship Management’ is in determining brand loyalty. This would give the students a direct insight into how businesses use marketing tools and strategies. This would allow for the student to apply any background theory they have researched to a real business environment.
This leads us to the facilitating stage of the learning cycle, two roles which can be placed within this stage are: The role of a Facilitator
The role of a Motivator
In order to facilitate learning one of the teachers fundamental responsibilities is to carry out tutorials/lessons. During this he/she must assist students in achieving the aims and objectives set out at the beginning of a lesson or lecture. The aim of a Business studies lesson may be to differentiate between the different marketing strategies a company could potentially use. Reece and Walker (2009:5), state that the setting of objectives determines what students should be able to do when they have completed a segment or instruction.
To achieve the above aim the objectives set may include to:
Establish the different types of marketing strategy a company could use Identify the key characteristics of each strategy
Discuss how a company could adopt each of the strategies to a particular brand they sell Evaluate the overall effectiveness of each of the
The teacher may assist learning by referring the students to a particular text book, devising a handout, instigating and leading group discussions etc.
In order for learning to take place the student must feel motivated to learn. Francis, M and Gould, J (2009:36-37) states that although the learners themselves are different, they go through a similar process in their learning. This allows general principles to be identified to make learning more effective. Generally, learning is more effective when we are motivated to learn. Without motivation it is unlikely that the learners will progress.
It is therefore the teachers role to motivate their students and to encourage them to reach their maximum capabilities and to be flexible in how they teach in order for an understanding to be gained from every student. It is therefore important for the teacher to set work that is at the right level also that guidance and encouragement is given.
The motivational levels of students can also be facilitated through the giving of feedback which leads the author onto discuss the ‘assessing stage’ of the cycle. The two roles identified within this stage are:
The role of Evaluator
The role of an Assessor
The role of an Evaluator is to provide a written or verbal account, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of work. This is usually done against a set marking criteria, which consequentially determines the level the student is working at and the grading of a given piece of work. The marking criteria would normally be devised by the head of the business studies department or regulatory body. It would therefore be the business studies teachers responsibility to teach the material required to achieve the desired level outlined in the marking criteria. The strengths and weaknesses identified in assignments should be used to confirm where developments and improvements are needed to be made..
The responsibility of an Assessor is to standardise the marking that has been completed. This would be important to ensure that all Business Studies students work is marked against the same marking criteria.
This leads us to discuss the final stage of the cycle as it would be the role of a ‘Verifier’ to confirm that the assessor has given the student a mark that is fair, justified and accurate.
A second role that fits within this stage is that of a ‘Professional,’ one of the main responsibilities of a professional is to maintain CPD (Continuous Professional Development).
It is important to keep up to date with your subject specialism there are often changes regarding external and rewarding body requirements and technology. In order to combat this you could refer to trade journals, research via the Internet, attend courses and network with others (Gravels, 2007:9).
Due to the fast pace in which change occurs in the markets businesses operates within, it would be imperative for a Business Studies teacher to keep their business knowledge up to date. One of the ways that it could be facilitated is to watch or read business news on a daily basis. This would ensure that the Teacher can apply all elements of theoretical knowledge to relevant up to date real life business situations.
To summarise from explaining the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and how they fit within the cycle it is evident how each stage interlinks to the next and therefore allows for the aims and objectives of a ‘Teacher’ to be realised and fulfilled.
BLUESKYCOACHING., 2008. 10 Ways to be a Good Mentor. [online] Tania.
Available at: www.blueskycoaching.com.au/pdf/v4i10_mentor.pdf [Accessed: 03/02/2013].
FRANCIS, M., GOULD, J., 2009, “Achieving your PTLLS Award: A Practical Guide to Successful Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector,” Sage Publications Ltd: London.
GRAVELS, A., 2007, “Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector,” 2nd Edition, Learning Matters Ltd: Exeter.
REECE, I., WALKER S., 2009, “Teaching, training and learning: A Practical Gude,” 6th Edition Revised, Business Education Publishers Limited: Tyne and Wear.
WALKIN, L., 2000, “Teaching and Learning in Further and Adult Education,” 2nd Edition Revised, Nelson Thornes Ltd: Cheltenham.
TAYLOR, Z., 2013. Roles and Responsibilities of a teacher handout, slide 3, North Lindsey Collge. [Received 16/01/13].
TAYLOR, Z., 2013. Roles and Responsibilities of a teacher handout, slide 6, North Lindsey Collge. [Received 16/01/13].