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Facilitative Teachers

July 27, 2007

z Our precious teachers z

“The most powerful way to develop creativity in your students is to be a role model. Children develop creativity not when you tell them to, but when you show them.” Source: Robert J Sternberg, How to develop student creativity

An increasing number of educators believe that conventional instructional practice fails to help students in problem solving and thinking methods. They argue that most instruction is based one way direction by which teachers and authors attempt to directly transmit their expertise to students.

When students begin with real-life problems, they are more motivated to find solutions. To create such opportunity, many schools have adopted varied strategies such as case-studies, project-based instruction, debates, and technological stimulators. The creative Classroom Project for example was a collaboration between Project Zero and the Disney Worldwide Outreach to produce materials that help teachers explore and understand:

As facilitative teachers, when we use experiential exercises, we provide as much valid information as possible so that students can make a free and informed choice about whether to participate. This increases their commitment to the exercise and to the learning associated with it.

  1. The role of creativity and innovation in teaching and learning
  2. The importance of developing classroom and school environments that can bring out the best in teachers and students, and
  3. Methods for making classrooms more engaging places

Source: Creativity in the classroom: an exploration. Series of Videos and Guides

The Facilitative Teacher

First, you will reflect in your teaching who you are and what you value. Your messages will echo, consciously or not, your own unique spirit, personality traits and energy about your preferences in life. Second, the instructional techniques you choose to use – or not – also reflect your principles. From how you set up the room to what activities you choose to involve your students in, are all reflections of your own preference.

Becoming a facilitative teacher means using mutual learning approaches to help students develop knowledge and skills about a particular subject so they can apply it to real problems or opportunities.

Another part of being a facilitative teacher is sharing with students the strategies you are using for teaching and learning. Being transparent is necessary if you want to learn while teaching. It enables you and the students to explore how your proposed strategy will help or hinder students’ ability to learn.

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