Facilitator Tips

Pedagogical Methodology, Methods, and Tools for Teaching

The assumptions that we bring as teachers and as students to an educational context sets up expectations for learning. We have chosen the term ‘facilitator’ to refer to the instructor of this ‘Forum Series.’ As a facilitator, your role will be to both convey information about the environment, economics, and social systems, and to invite participants to share their views about these and other relevant topics. After creating a Forum for sharing thoughts, expertise, and ideas, you will then invite participants to collaboratively process information so as to make moral and practical sense of this information in light of actual environmental, economic, and social challenges. It is helpful to think of this process as ‘building on existing knowledge,’ as the facilitator assists participants in sharing and analyzing what they already know. Feel free to let the conversation go where it goes, then add clarification and insight as you deem appropriate. There are six modules that compose this Tensions-in-Sustainability Forum Series. Each module is free standing, however the modules may also be offered in a series.  Modules 1-3 address some of the confusion surrounding environmental concerns by introducing participants to America’s current environmental conditions, its environmental history, and to incentives that encourage people to reject climate change. Modules 4-6 equip participants to collaboratively address these problems in ways that reflect their personal value systems, skill sets, and assumptions while also helping participants to better understand how others make sense of these issues. Each module comes equipped with a Facilitator’s Guide that includes all the information you need to facilitate the module. There are six methods of instruction used in this Forum Series. Each of these six different teaching methods require different levels of engagement from both the facilitator and the participants. They are also associated with different levels of risk and potential reward in terms of education, understanding, and constructive conversation across world views.

• Mini Lectures — Short lectures taught by facilitators to provide common knowledge to participants.

• Games — Friendly competition for participants to work towards a common goal following a set of clearly defined rules.

• Readings/Videos — Read an article or watch a video together and then discuss the information presented.

• Research — Use resources available to answer a question posed by the facilitator.

• Exercises — Activities to encourage participants to examine their own assumptions, ideologies, and economic or social alignments and then to reflect morally on those assumptions and the assumptions of others in the group. • Discussions — Structured conversations to facilitate communication across world views