Teach v Facilitate

What is the difference between teaching and facilitating? Some might say they are different words for the same thing. However, there are differences, note the definitions below. (The definitions from Online Dictionary AU, but in most dictionaries the meanings below are similar).

teach – To impart the knowledge of; to give intelligence concerning;
facilitate – To make easy or less difficult; to free from difficulty or impediment;

Notice the difference. ‘Teach’ gives the impression of an ‘expert’ imparting their knowledge, whereas ‘facilitate’ is more about helping the individual learn themselves. I agree that ‘teacher’ is a good term for Primary schools, but for higher forms of education, I think that it is better to ‘facilitate’.

The idea of changing from ‘teaching’ to ‘facilitating’ (another way of saying ‘the sage on the stage’ and ‘the guide on the side’ as mentioned in the previous post) is becoming more important now that people have access to more information. The role is more of a ‘content curator’; as a facilitator, our role is to guide the learner in learning what they need to know.

Does it really matter what title is used? Maybe not. But perhaps thinking differently about the meaning of the role will help teachers/trainers think about how best to help the learner learn. If we are to guide, and make it easier for the learner, then do we need to think more about how we ‘teach’? What do you think?

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One Response to Teach v Facilitate

  1. After reading your post i have a better understanding of what Teach v Facilitate really is.Your post have the information that is helpful and very informative. I would like you to keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing.

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