Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Art of Facilitation


This past week I have been at the Art of Facilitation course run by Joan Dalton and David Anderson of PLOT PD.

This amazing course delivers exactly what the title suggests, a very good grounding in the elements of effective facilitation. It is intensive and I feel as though I have been through five days of therapy! I have had a major 'aha' moment during the course as I reflect on myself as a facilitator. This is the fact that there is often a long distance between perceptions and reality, or to put it another way, our actions may not reflect our learning theories.

I hold to a constructivist and co-construction theory of learning with connectivity theory thrown in for good measure. In other words, to put it simply, I think we construct our realities through our interaction with others and the world around us. With this as my perception you would think the reality would be that I facilitate learning with my adult learners by helping them construct their learning and engage in opportunities to learn with, thru and from others. I have found however that my perception and reality do not meet. To be honest I have considered myself as the expert giver of knowledge, fixer of problems, motivator of action and basically indispensable help on hand. My actions do not support my beliefs.

The best thing about this week with Joan and David, exploring the aspects of effective facilitation is that I have aligned my actions with my beliefs. I have put a plan in place to ensure I foster independence in my adult learners to encourage sustainability in their learning. My role is to help people find the treasure that exists deep within, to explore their own expertise and enhance that.

I'll let you know how I get on ...

4 comments:

LindaH said...

Your post comes at just the right time for me! I too have had that 'aha' moment in the last week or so. Mine came from reflecting on how comfortable my adult learners are in my class. It suddenly dawned on me that they'd almost stopped learning, and thinking for themselves. Now I'm busy adjusting my planning to step down from that podium I'd somehow climbed onto :-) I look forward to following your progress with this.

Leigh Blackall said...

Promising post Jane, I hope you will keep us posted. I'm preparing a course to run for the second time over at Otago Poly: Facilitate Online Communities.. one of the first things I try to ask people to confront is this same question. I hope you will expand on your initial thoughts here. It would be great to have a local to point to help stimulate conversation

Leigh Blackall said...

sorry, correct link: Facilitating online communities

Suzie Vesper said...

Sounds a fab course. I've realised that I've been driving things too much in my cluster as well. Any notes that can be shared??