The Teacher as Facilitator
In an active classroom environment the role of a teacher is often that of a facilitator,
supporting pupils as they learn and develop skills in, for example, assessing evidence,
negotiation, making informed decisions, solving problems, working independently and
working with others. Pupil participation and involvement in their learning is essential.
Sometimes it is appropriate for the facilitator to take on a particular role/function in an
attempt to enhance the learning within the class or to challenge their thinking in a new
way. Some of these possible roles include:
*Neutral facilitator: The facilitator enables the group to explore a range of different
viewpoints without stating their own opinion.
*Devil’s advocate: The facilitator deliberately adopts an opposite stance to confront
people, irrespective of their own views. This method is slightly ‘tongue-in-cheek’.
*Declared interests: The facilitator declares their own position so that the group
knows their views.
Ally: The facilitator supports the views of a particular sub-group or individual
(usually a minority) within a group.
Offi cial view: The facilitator informs the group of the offi cial position on certain
issues e.g. offi cial organisations, the law etc.
Challenger: The facilitator, through questioning, challenges the views being
expressed and encourages the pupils to justify their position.
Provocateur: The facilitator brings up an argument, viewpoint and information
which they know will provoke the class, and which they do not necessarily believe,
but because they are authentic beliefs of other individuals or groups, they present
In-role: The facilitator may “become” a particular person or caricature (for example
a church leader or a politician), putting across their arguments and position to the
If you were looking for a definition of the word Teacher unfortunately that role has been removed from the classroom under the revised curriculum