The teacher’s role as a facilitator of learning refers to the one who guides, assists and manages the discussions between the students effectively. The educators strengthen the student’s thinking, ensure participation and allow them to engage themselves in their own learning processes.
What is meant by the facilitator in teaching?
A facilitator of learning is a teacher who promotes assistance, guidance and assures support to the students in their learning process. The educator strengthens their knowledge and understanding of several subjects. In addition, this form of teaching helps the students in finding answers to various questions (all by themselves), by letting them form an opinion, work on self-exploration, etc.
How does a teacher act as a facilitator?
In this learning process, when students raise questions on various topics, they automatically engage themselves in (their own learning )by forming an understanding, or opinion of their own. Now, this is where the role of the teacher is considered significant. In this situation, there is a gradual transition from being a teacher to adapting to the role of a facilitator, the one who is ready to provide the necessary resources, encourages the learners, helps them in problem-solving and monitors their progress.
How is a facilitator different from a teacher?
To know about such a concept, let us understand the same through a dialogue discussion between the two characters named Bosco and Eddie.
Scene: Bosco and Eddie meet each other in a cafeteria to discuss the assignment on the topic: The role of a teacher as a facilitator of learning.
Bosco: Hello Eddie, how have you been?
Eddie: Hello Bosco, I am doing fine. How about you?
Bosco- Umm, lately, I have been trying to decipher the difference between a facilitator and a teacher as per the given assignment. I try to think about the same the whole day but end up knowing nothing. I am in a dilemma, can you please help me with this?
Eddie- Sure, Bosko. I would love to educate you on this.
Bosco- Okay, Let me grab my notes.
Eddie- To begin with, the teachers are the ones who carry expertise, knowledge and experience in a particular field. On the contrary, facilitators are the individuals who form a knowledge base for the group of learners to look for answers to various questions. Both methods of teaching are considered viable and help the students in their learning process.
Bosco- What do you think are some of the skills of a facilitator?
Eddie- A facilitator is responsible for creating a constructive environment for the students, the one who empathizes with them, serves as an active listener and has group management skills.
In simple words, the facilitator is someone who promotes fluid communication or interaction with the students by giving them appropriate guidance.
Bosco- Why do you think it is important for the facilitators to promote decision-making?
Eddie – The teachers need to promote decision-making to help them engage, interact and brainstorm on various issues. This process allows them the ability to aim towards problem-solving, consensus building and much more.
Bosco- Thank you so much, Eddie. I got to learn so much from you.
Eddie- No problem, anytime.
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Facilitator?
The roles and responsibilities of a facilitator are as follows:
- The facilitators are the individuals who formulate a discussion, provide the students with the necessary assistance/resources and lead the conversations.
- Facilitators even guide the processes.
- They ensure whether the outcomes or objectives are carried smoothly or not.
What are some of the steps adopted by a teacher to ensure effective facilitation skills?
To ensure effective facilitation skills, the following is how we can do so:
Step 1– A teacher is supposed to establish boundaries.
Step 2– A teacher/mentor has to remain impartial.
Step3– They have to understand the dynamics of the group.
Step 4- A teacher should intervene in the discussions as & when it is felt necessary.
Step 5– One should be able to promote consensus-building, promote active listening and facilitate the conversations effectively.
Step 6- Implement and execute the required skills.
Facilitative learning with the students
In facilitative learning, the teachers guide this learning process and enable the students to promote learning for themselves. They direct the learners to identify, apply their understanding to problems and devise the solutions on their own. Indirectly, the educator teaches the students to manage their learning and apply their knowledge to various issues. And this way, the students will be able to engage themselves in finding solutions to unknown challenges in life. Furthermore, the learners get more creative and are motivated in adapting to new ways of thinking. Hence, teachers are always a step ahead in guiding them wherever and whenever necessary while steering their questions constructively.
Facilitative learning calls for the teachers to help the students engage themselves in their processes of learning. The educators are required to assist the learners with appropriate resources, knowledge and assistance when found necessary. In addition, teachers have to make the environment of learning adaptable for the students and follow the required facilitation skills. In this way, facilitators will be able to promote a constructive setting for the students while strengthening the fruitful discussions between them.
About the Author: Hansika Bhardwaj
Hansika is a proud content writer and enthusiastic person who is willing to embrace the journey. She loves writing poetry when not spending her time researching on education and education technology. She believes and manifests the ideals of hope, magic and positivity. Hansika is currently a student in Humanities Dept. at University of Delhi.
This article has been re-published on Medium