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Teacher as facilitator

Teacher as facilitator

Author: Ashley Sweatt

In this lesson, you will learn how the role of the teacher shifts in the personalized classroom

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Hi. My name is Ashley, and today's lesson is titled Teacher as Facilitator. What will you learn today? First, we will take a look at the Teacher as Facilitator Model offered by Brown University. Then we will discuss what does it mean to be a facilitator. We will also take a look at what research says about being a teacher facilitator. Lastly, we will discuss how can you become a teacher facilitator. Key terms you will hear throughout the lesson are facilitator and diverse.

Let's take a look at the Brown University Teacher as Facilitator Model. According to Brown University, a teacher as a facilitator is one who develops a learning environment that is relevant and reflective to their student's social, cultural, and linguistic experiences.

Why is it important? Well, according to Ladson-Billings, creating a culturally relevant teaching means to nurture and support competence at home and in the classroom. How can this be done? Well, it can be done by learning about your students, varying teaching approaches to accommodate diverse learners, and utilizing various resources in students communities. Consider coming back here to the Brown University website to go more in depth and finding out more about the teacher as a facilitator.

What does it mean to be a facilitator? A facilitator guides learning in the classroom. A facilitator acts like a coach by directing students, and stands on the sideline while the students use their own resources to complete the task. Teachers will use culturally relevant resources and pedagogy in order to create a welcoming and caring atmosphere for all students. Teachers also will give real world problems and opportunities for students to work within challenging situations, and use their resources to solve them-- hence promoting perseverance.

What research supports being a facilitator as a teacher? According to the Brown University Teacher as Facilitator Model, culturally relevant teaching should be concentrated on developing proficient students within their home and school cultures. We want the students to be able to connect what goes on at home and at school. They shouldn't be separate entities, but instead work together to create a culturally diverse learning atmosphere for students.

According to Bell Hooks, teachers should create a sense of community and caring in the classrooms. We want our students to feel welcomed and know that we care about them and their education.

Paulo Freire and Lisa Delpit express the importance of using language that is relevant to students, while still remaining on topic and meeting curriculum expectations. We should use language that is kid-friendly and understandable for students, but it still has to be aligned with what we are teaching.

How can you become a teacher facilitator? First, you must learn about your students. Educate yourself on the cultures of your students. Be knowledgeable of their backgrounds and language they speak. Include aspects of various cultures and your teaching.

I'm not fluent in Spanish, however I use Spanish words occasionally when giving reminders and directions. I might say cinco minutos, which means five minutes. My Spanish students know they're not being left out because they hear some of their own language being spoken in the classroom. Also, by celebrating different cultures and allowing families to come and visit and share their culture to the classroom will help you learn about your students.

Next, accommodate to your student cultures and diverse learning styles by incorporating different routines into your teaching style. According to the Brown University Teacher as Facilitator Model, this can be done by considering the following strategies. Cooperative learning groups, book clubs or literature circles, student-directed discussion groups. These strategies will help foster communication in your classroom. Also, if you have students who are English language learners, using language to meet their comprehension level is an excellent way to meet diverse learners.

Lastly, offer opportunities for student choice. Plan project learning activities, allowing students to brainstorm and follow through with their own plan of action. Allow students to instruct the class on their own culture or another area of interests. Allow students to have authentic audiences. This can be done by allowing students to share information with their classmates, other students in the building, or their parents and other family members.

Let's recap what we learned in today's lesson. We looked at the Teacher as Facilitator Model offered by Brown University. It told us that a teacher facilitator is someone that provides a nurturing caring atmosphere for students by incorporating different cultures. It also told us why have teachers as facilitators and how you can do it. Don't forget to go back to that site to look more in-depth on teachers as facilitators.

Then we talked about what does it mean to be a facilitator. Being a facilitator is being a guider or a coach who sits on the sideline and helps direct students through the learning process. What research supports being a teacher facilitator? Well, the research that we looked at basically says creating a warm and caring atmosphere while incorporating different cultures in the classroom will help transfer meaning from the school to the classroom and connecting it all together for students.

Lastly, in order to become a teacher facilitator, you must learn and have information about your students. Please give your students choice, so they can incorporate their own thoughts and voice into the classroom. And give them authentic audiences by allowing parents and other classmates and students around the building to be their audience.

Think about these questions as you reflect on today's lesson. What are you already doing that makes you a great facilitator? What do you need to do differently to become a facilitator? To dive a little deeper and learn how to process this information, be sure to check out the Additional Resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on "Teacher as Facilitator"


(00:00 - 00:10) Introduction

(00:11 - 00:44) What will you learn today?

(00:45 - 01:39) What is the Brown University Teacher as Facilitator Model?

(01:40 - 02:18) What does it mean to be a facilitator?

(02:19 - 03:21) What research supports being a Teacher Facilitator?

(03:22 - 05:07) How can you become a Teacher Facilitator?

(05:08 - 06:32) What did you learn today?

(06:33 – 07:00) Reflection



Additional Resources

The Education Alliance at Brown University: Teacher as Facilitator

This is a site focused on teaching diverse learners. This particular posting provides a clear overview of the role of the teacher as a facilitator using the what, why how format. Each rationale is supported by research.

More References

Brisk, M. E., & Harrington, M. M. (2000). Literacy and bilingualism: A handbook for all teachers. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Daniels, H. (2002). Literature circles: Voice and choice in book clubs and reading groups. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Daniels, H. (2002). Literature circles: Voice and choice in book clubs and reading groups. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). But that's just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory into Practice, 34(3), 159-165.
Padron, Y. N., Waxman, H. C., and Rivera, H. H. (2002). Educating Hispanic students: Effective instructional practices (Practitioner Brief #5).
Yedlin, J. (2004, January/February). Teacher talk: Enabling ELLs to "grab on" and climb high. Perspectives.