A study of the theories and practices of facilitator educators

Thomas, Glyn (2007). A study of the theories and practices of facilitator educators Professional Doctorate, School of Educational Studies, Latrobe University.

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Author Thomas, Glyn
Thesis Title A study of the theories and practices of facilitator educators
School, Centre or Institute School of Educational Studies
Institution Latrobe University
Publication date 2007-03
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Open Access Status Other
Supervisor Lorraine Ling
Peter Martin
Total pages 216
Language eng
Subjects 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Formatted abstract
The facilitation literature is focused primarily on describing facilitation skills and practice, and to a lesser extent, on providing details of the theories that underpin facilitation practice. There is, however, little focus on the processes by which facilitators may develop their skills, competence, judgment and/or theoretical grounding. This study is an examination of the theories and practices facilitator educators use to help novice facilitators to develop their skills, knowledge, and experience. The theoretical interpretive framework used in this study involved both a model describing four dimensions of facilitator education, and the four main strategies used to educate group counsellors.

Operating within the interpretivist paradigm, interviews and participant observations were conducted with six facilitator educators to establish the primary outcomes and critical components of facilitator education programs, and the theoretical foundations and values informing the practices of facilitator educators. Surveys with the graduates of their programs were also used to establish, from their perspective, what the strengths and weaknesses of the programs were. The facilitator education programs (or parts of them) were observed in Australia or New Zealand and included two longer programs (20-30 days each) and three shorter programs (1-4 days each).

Some significant findings of the study included: shorter facilitator education programs were limited in their ability to provide person-centred facilitator education; no programs focused on technical facilitator education alone; the need to develop self-awareness was considered an essential component of person-centred facilitator education; and, a range of theoretical foundations were utilized by the facilitator educators. The importance of intentionality in facilitation practice was reinforced, but there is a need for facilitator educators to articulate more clearly the strategies that may be used to help emerging facilitators to develop their intentionality. The theoretical interpretive framework was a useful tool to interpret the theories and practices of facilitator educators.
Keyword Facilitation
Faclitator education
Experiential education

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Created: Tue, 17 May 2011, 20:34:22 EST by Dr Glyn Thomas on behalf of Teaching & Educational Development Institute