Changing Role from Mediator to Facilitator

“The teacher’s role, however, can be best understood when viewed through the lens of how context is created. Ideally, the teacher provides resources; knowledge, skills, questions, and multifaceted approaches to problem solving, to name a few. When things go well, the role of the teacher can be best understood as getting out of the way. When students need more support — in either a formal or an informal setting — the teacher can be the person who provides it. Different people have different reasons for wanting to learn different things, but in many cases, academic inquiry is at least partially driven by external factors.”

Bill Fitzgerald

This blog by Mr. Bill Fitzgerald reinforces the changing role of the teacher from mediator to facilitator. The teacher provides all of the necessary resources for learning to happen. When things are up, the teacher will step aside and let the learning process happen, but when things go sour the teacher will step in and students need support the teacher will provide it.

The last part of this quote I agree with the most. There are many external factors that drive academic inquiry. Students whose parents want to be overachievers and push for straight As, but they never really learn anything, and athletes looking for the minimum grade to stay on a sports team do not really learn anything either. Outside factors drive our whole purpose to want to learn. Students don’t learn the major plot points behind Animal Farm because they want to know more about the Orwellian philosophy on Communism. They read the book to a get a grade. Where is the internal desire to want more knowledge? To REALLY learn? Every once in a while you will come across a student who want to achieve this goal, but the vast majority are only looking for the first letter of the alphabet to be satisfied. Sorry, got a mini rant there, but I’m good now, :).

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