For learners can lack confidence, as a result of previous negative educational experiences. This can make them very vulnerable and doubt their own abilities. Encouragement and constructive feedback are particularly important to these learners as, along with new learning, you may also be trying to undo previous educational damage.
Think about a learning programme you are involved in at present. If you are a trainee, think about a programme you worked in on placement, or as a volunteer. Answer the following questionnaire to build up a picture of the level of support you are able to offer learners in your current learning environment.
1. When working with a group, how do you agree the pace? How do you accommodate everyone, so that no one gets bored and no one feels unduly pressured?
2. How can you ensure that your programme increases learners’ confidence rather than reducing it?
3. How can you support learners with specific learning difficulties, e.g. literacy problems, learning or physical disabilities, language or cultural differences? How can these learners be supported as well as being included in group activities?
4. How do you identify learners who need additional support?
· What evidence do you look for to see if they need additional support?
· What evidence do you look for to see if they have adequate support?
Learning support can also take the root of learner counselling. Counselling involves talking the learner through their strengths and weaknesses. It is an interactive process in which they are able to say how they feel about their learning, the course, and their teacher.