Carl Rogers and others have developed the theory of facilitative learning. The basic premise of this theory is that learning will occur by the educator acting as a facilitator, that is by establishing an atmosphere in which learners feel comfortable to consider new ideas and are not threatened by external factors (Laird 1985.)
Other characteristics of this theory include:
- a belief that human beings have a natural eagerness to learn,
- there is some resistance to, and unpleasant consequences of, giving up what is currently held to be true,
- the most significant learning involves changing one’s concept of oneself.
Facilitative teachers are:
- less protective of their constructs and beliefs than other teachers,
- more able to listen to learners, especially to their feelings,
- inclined to pay as much attention to their relationship with learners as to the content of the course,
- apt to accept feedback, both positive and negative and to use it as constructive insight into themselves and their behaviour.
- are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning,
- provide much of the input for the learning which occurs through their insights and experiences,
- are encouraged to consider that the most valuable evaluation is self-evaluation and that learning needs to focus on factors that contribute to solving significant problems or achieving significant results.