When facilitation is used in the classroom, it adheres to the same core principles and beliefs that guide facilitation in general. In addition, all Facilitative Teachers need to possess the previously described competencies of the Group Facilitator in order to capably manage those classroom discussions in which learners are looking for personal connection to the material, or are trying to develop back-home applications.
Despite these similarities, classroom facilitation has a very different focus from Group Facilitation. Instead of being aimed at enabling decision-making, the purpose of classroom facilitation is to create an environment in which learners are supported in pursuing the knowledge and acquiring the skills that are most meaningful to them. (Apps 1991)
Just as Group Facilitators help participants take action, Facilitative Teachers help learners with their educational journey. Given the intensity and complexity of the challenges facing today’s school leaders, it’s safe to say that their need for collaboration with their peers has never been greater. Even more than the latest theories and research, school leaders need to tap into the wisdom of their colleagues in order to identify effective solutions for their most pressing dilemmas.
When the classroom becomes more inter-active, learning is transformed from being content-centered to being more learner-centered. This yields a number of key benefits including:
- heightened buy-in and engagement by the learners
- deeper exploration and thinking
- accelerated development of both research and analytical skills
- a richer curriculum that reflects the real-life experiences and interests of the group
- a classroom where everyone is a teacher and learning is generated by the participants
- a more interesting experience for the teacher who gains new insights every time a course is taught, since each group brings new perspectives to the material
- the development of students towards becoming independent and self-motivated learners who are capable of continuous growth throughout their lives. (Knowles, 1984; Brookfield, 1986)