Teacher’s Speech: Facilitative Technologies In Master’s Programmes In Education
The essence of facilitative pedagogy is viewed through the humanistic educational paradigm in the aspect of master’s programmes in education. Facilitation as an integrated educational technology let student be free in education choosing activity and the way to reach the educational goals. We define facilitation as a technology of students’ self-development and as a way of stimulation, support and guidance on their professional development. It is connected with facilitative technologies in education and teacher’s speech as a professional means. Facilitation is viewed as a technology of student’s self-development and as a way of stimulation of their professional development. Teacher’s speech is studied as a means of facilitative influence with the use of a broad range of teacher’s roles and teacher’s speech. Teacher’s facilitation helps to provide students’ progress and stimulates their self-development. In that way the position of the teacher changes, depending on the level of management of students’ activity. The teacher acts as facilitative manager, motivating the student, and the student takes a role of the object of facilitation and motivation. We work out the algorithm of facilitation. It includes such steps as diagnosing problems, agreeing on educational goals and planning of the study process, carrying out the educational process, analyzing the results of the educational process. It promotes conscious study, student’s active position and helps to work out individual educational trajectories of students who do master’s programmes in education.
Keywords: Facilitationinfluencethe management of subject’s self-developmenteducationthe technology of didactical communicative influence
Master’s programmes imply the development and expanding of student’s knowledge and competences in a definite field of study. The achievement of these aims requires the use of proper educational technologies. This would allow us make the educational process more effective through taking into account the level of student’s knowledge, skills and the zone of their potential development. Facilitation as an integrated educational technology lets students significantly increase their academic potential and use it in their professional sphere. This article is devoted to facilitation technologies and their usage in master’s programmes for educators.
The introduction of standards of a new generation in higher education demands the transfer of the educational activity to the independent activities of students. When students are not ready to increase their own educational activity in order to provide the quality of master’s programmes it leads to negative learning outcomes and reduces the quality of training in general.
It should be noted, that some dynamic characteristics of the educational process in the university should be considered properly. It allows teacher to organize pedagogical interaction optimally. These include the following features:
- focus on advanced training, which the zone of the nearest development of the student provides;
- creation of optimal conditions for the implementation of the competence-based approach to training carried out in the educational process of the university;
- the increasing importance of independent research and academic activities of students;
- intensification of the educational process through the introduction of innovative forms and methods of training;
- creation of conditions which provide opportunity for development of student’s individual trajectory in a specially organized information and educational environment.
The implementation of the presented characteristics determines the choice of management decisions to create organizational and pedagogical conditions conducive to the implementation of a dynamic model of the educational process at the university:
- the focus of training on the formation of creative abilities of students;
- inclusion of students in the process of joint creative activity using modern information technologies;
- the focus of training on the development of students' motivational readiness to mobile response to changes in real conditions of their occupation;
- provision of educational process with information and communication technologies for self-education of students (Rabadanova, 2010).
New landmarks demand to change the traditional way of training and search for effective technologies to be used in master’s programmes in education.
Facilitation can be defined as a technology of student’s self-development and as a way of stimulation, support and guidance on their professional development. This term is connected with Rogers’ works, who considered the application of the facilitative approach in different areas of interpersonal communication of children and adults, students and teachers, Russians and Americans. Etymologically, the term “facilitation” comes from a Latin word “facile”, which means “easily, without difficulty”. The word “facilitation” is commonly used in psychological context, as a derivative from the verb “to facilitate”. Our research aims to define facilitative function of a teacher through the teacher’s communicative influence on students with an educational purpose (Romashina, 2001), carried out on the basis of a multilevel approach to the guidance of a student’s development through education (Mayer, 2003). The main effect of facilitation is the creation of the safe climate, providing confidence and openness for students’ success and achievements. Facilitation carried out through communicative influence indicates modality, willingness to cooperate and help. It is a condition, means, form and the result of optimal interaction between a teacher and a student (Romashina, 2001).
Basing on what have been said, we will describe the technology of facilitation of the student’s development through education with the use of a broad range of teacher’s roles and teacher’s speech.
The technology should provide the above-mentioned landmarks of master’s programmes in education.
The orientation of management is largely determined by the indicators and criteria for the formation of students' independent work. In our previous studies, the following levels of independence in educational students’ activity are highlighted (Romashina, 2002):
Level 1 (reproductive autonomy) - lack of autonomy: traditional management, externally given (teacher) goal, its acceptance / rejection in the process of influence from the teacher, external (formal) result (for others), formal independence.
Level 2 (reactive (partially productive) autonomy) - forced student autonomy: co-management, external goal acceptance due to the impact of others (primarily the teacher) and the impact on others, the general (collective subject) result.
Level 3 (productive autonomy) - arbitrary autonomy of the student: self-management, the adoption of goals in the process of self-action, their translation into an internal plan, the selection of ways to achieve them, and the evaluation of the result is independent work itself.
Basing on these points we discuss the ways to obtain the quality in providing master’s programmes in education.
Purpose of the Study
Teacher as a facilitator aims to arrange the work of the group and to provide the achievement of the goal. To do this the teacher sets a high level of students’ autonomy (which lets the group find solutions on their own) and facilitates the group work. The result of such work is the expansion of the students’ autonomy.
The teacher as consultant aims to help the student in their academic development, using advice, recommendations, diagnostics, eliciting problems, finding solutions together with the student. The result of it is maximally high quality of problem solving within the time period given.
The teacher as coach provides effective advance of the student to their goal, using GROW model as a coaching tool (identifying Goal, analyzing Reality, considering Options, applying Will). The result is acceleration of student’s advance to the goal.
The teacher as tutor sets educational environment which would allow the student to gain their own experience at a comfortable pace and at a high level of autonomy. Tutor helps the student to identify the problem, aim and objectives; work out the plan and evaluate the results. Teacher as tutor provides consulting, support and empathic listening, asks thought-provoking questions. The result of this work is the educational environment which helps the students to be self-sufficient and creative.
The teacher as trainer provides the contact and effective interaction within the group, helps every student to define their aims and the ways of achieving them. The result of such students-trainer interaction is breaking down of barriers, students’ readiness to help and accept help, gaining experience and skills of self-evaluation and mutual evaluation and the feeling of pleasure from cooperative work.
The teacher as mediator provides mediation in a difficult situation, reestablishes the students’ ability to interact effectively. To achieve this the teacher uses such tools as mediation, setting, eliciting of students’ positions and feelings, guiding student’s self-presentation, facilitation of making of the common decision, changing indignation into wishes and brainstorming. The result of such interaction is the conflict resolution.
Teacher as moderator arranges and guides the group work, inspiring, providing support and motivating students. The main result is intensification of work and optimization of the result.
The position of the teacher changes, depending on the level of management of students’ activity. The first level is the motivational one, based on motivational function of the teacher. On this level the student and the teacher are getting to know each other. The teacher is trying to elicit the student’s potential in order to choose the tactics of influence and the most effective strategy to manage the student’s activity. The teacher acts as facilitative manager, motivating the student, and the student takes a role of the object of facilitation and motivation. The teacher offers the student an assignment, containing the steps which the student should take to achieve the goal. The student, being initially an object of motivation, becomes an active participant of interaction.
The second level is the cognitive one. The positions of the teacher and the student change. The former takes the role of a facilitative coach / consultant, and the latter becomes an active participant. This level involves student’s independent cognitive activity, co-managed by the coach (teacher) and the student. The teacher provides consulting which develops student as a learner through their cognitive and communicative activity, and teacher-student mutual influence leads to interaction. The teacher offers problem-solving assignments with no plan or steps the student should take.
The third level is the operational level, which is based on student’s self-management. The teacher offers the assignments which involve search activity and actual independence of student’s thought process. This level implies minimal volume of management provided by the teacher, who takes the role of an expert / evaluator.
According to recent studies of facilitation in education, the key competencies of the teacher-facilitator should include:
effective pedagogical humanism, adherence to the emotional state of students, empathy and assistance in overcoming negative emotions and subjective difficulties;
socio-communicative competence - knowledge, skills and abilities that provide personality-oriented communication and pedagogical facilitation;
social intelligence - the ability that determines the productivity of interaction with students and regulates the cognitive processes associated with the reflection of socio-psychological relationships;
over-standard professional and pedagogical activity, readiness and need for innovative activity, display of creative initiative, excess of normative professional functions and official duties;
socio-psychological tolerance - tolerance for youthful lifestyle and behavior, ethnic characteristics; emotional stability and self-control;
pedagogical reflection - a quality that allows a person to analyze his or her own actions, know themselves and understand how students reflect the personal reactions and cognitive representations of the teacher;
social responsibility - the ability to implement self-control and control over interaction with students, forecasting and correcting of the professional development of students.
In master’s programmes, the following algorithm of facilitation is carried out:
1. Diagnosing problems
At this stage the problem is being elicited. It acts as a trigger mechanism which helps to start the collaborative activity. It can be done with the use of problem-solving assignments, diagnostic seminar, students’ self-diagnostics or analysis of the information provided by the teacher. The result of this stage is a range of problems important for that particular group of students, and the choice of the ones which take priority.
2. Agreeing on educational goals and planning of the study process
According to the elicited problems, the goal is set, the educational contents and technologies are being chosen. It is done with the help of methods of setting and aligning goals, setting objectives, analysis of the group features, the choice of educational methods and forms, planning of educational process.
3. Carrying out the educational process
It is very important to provide the achievement of the goal at this stage by motivating the students to take an active part in the group educational process and taking stocks throughout it. The teacher should pay special attention to arranging students’ independent work with academic materials and the analysis of its results.
4. Analyzing the results of the educational process
This stage is devoted to evaluation on the results: which goals were achieved, which were not achieved and why. It is done in the form of individual and group analysis, comparative analysis of goals and results carried out by students and teacher together. Then the recommendations for students’ future study are made.
The use of this algorithm of facilitation promotes conscious study, student’s active position (Mezhina, 2013) and starts off the mechanisms of student’s independent work which provide their progress, academic and professional success. The means supporting facilitation are the rating system, common programme of study and individual educational trajectories worked out on the basis of student’s capabilities and academic autonomy on three levels: motivational, cognitive and behavioral (Subbotina, 2008).
According to the results of research, we developed recommendations for optimizing the process of forming the productivity of students' independent learning, which consist of professional orientation and centering on independent leraning; systematic phased monitoring of student’s independent academic work, including the use of a point-rating system; the development of a general training program for productive self-study work; the development of an individual strategy to improve the student's independent educational activities, taking into account the identification of his or her abilities and the degree of educational autonomy at each of its three levels: motivational, cognitive, behavioral (Subbotina, 2008).
The previous positions should be relevant to the algorithm of interactions of the teacher and the student, presented in the form of an “attributive ring”:
1) facilitation of motive activity;
2) facilitation of target formation;
3) facilitation of the search for the object of knowledge;
4) facilitating the search for a method of activity;
5) facilitation of the search for means of knowledge;
6) facilitating the implementation of the process;
7) facilitation of reflection (Dimukhametov, 2006).
- Dimukhametov, R.S. (2006). Facilitation in the system of professional development of teachers. Magnitogorsk: Magnitogorsk State Pedagogical University.
- Mezhina, A. (2013). The learner in student-centered education. In Science and society in modern conditions 2013 Conference (pp. 98-103). Ufa.
- Rabadanova R.S. (2010). Dynamic process of constructing the educational process in high education (humanitarian directions). Moscow: Russian International Academy of Tourism.
- Romashina, S. (2001). Facilitative pedagogy. Barnaul: Barnaul State Pedagogical University.
- Romashina, S. (2002). Didactic base of forming culture of teacher’s communicative influence. Barnaul: Barnaul State Pedagogical University.
- Subbotina, I. (2008). Forming a productive study activity of a student (complex approach). Herald of the Russian Academy of Education, 2(40), 102-105.
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