Still learning…

The thoughts shared by Amy as to Facilitating being that of “stewarding” & “nurturing” than formally “facilitating” and the role Leigh has modelled in this FOC08 as “host,” triggered a few more insights at my end:


First, couldn’t the biggest contribution of a Facilitator in a community be that of hospitality? In a community, there will be many participants coming from very diverse backgrounds. Some would be more active and outspoken while others will be monitoring and silent; some would be more experienced and advanced in years while others will be relatively inexperienced and young; some would be extremely articulate and academic while others would be inarticulate and pragmatic, etc. The role of the Facilitator could be that of providing the atmosphere where members can optimally interact with one another (i.e., with as many members) and subsequently benefit according to their own needs. In this respect, the following description of the ideal interaction among participants as described in the video by Michael Wesch on the Future of Education is most relevant (thanks to link provided by Nellie).



Hospitality is beautifully captured in the verses of Rumi as follows:

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!. . .
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as guide from beyond.”


Second, doesn’t the hospitality a Facilitator need to provide progressively increase with increasing number of personalities in the community. For instance, I can’t help but anticipate our FOC08 interaction in Second Life (SL). Potentially, a participant can be twice removed from his/her real self, i.e., self 1 would be their “real” personality in the physical world, self 2 would be their personality in the FOC08 class and self 3 would be their personality as represented in their avatar in SL. Facilitating (providing hospitality) would probably be “easier” if every participant can have an integrated self (i.e., self 1, self 2 and self 3 are all the same). However, it becomes extremely interesting if you assume the extreme case of everyone taking on three distinctly different selves. How many relationships does that create again according to Reeds law?”


Just learning…

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Greg,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me credit for posting Wesch’s video presentation. I enjoyed reading your ideas that seem to align with my own. I am not sure if that is a good reason, but that’s another topic. I have also written similar things in my blog about a servant leadership where the instructor/facilitator facilitates the learning process by engaging learners among themselves. Michael Wesch is on the right track in searching for ways to facilitate over 200 students in his courses. He uses teamwork and the jigsaw technique. The video presentation may be long, but keep on viewing because Michael uses some excellent ways of connecting learners and getting them to communicate among themselves.

    Warm wishes,
    Nellie Deutsch
    http://nelliemuller.blogspot.com

  2. An interesting analogy – host.. it feels like it for sure! I reckon we should keep this analogy in mind when we consider the differences between facilitating, moderating and teaching. It will be useful

  3. Greg,

    Thanks for the “shout out” in reference to my comment about facilitation being akin to hosting. I liked where you went with the idea of “hospitality”.

    In an earlier post I referenced the idea of “creating hospitable space”, which is one of my guidelines as a designer of online environments as well as a facilitator of interaction within them. I find it a very useful analogy.

    I look forward to playing in Second Life with you. One of the things I’ve found – and granted the people I tend to meet in Second Life are probably unusually wonderful – is that there isn’t such a great difference between people’s different “selves” as you might imagine. I exhibit the same kind of creative “play” with persona in my “real life” and in my online conversations that I do in Second Life. No more or less, give or take a few butterfly wings. 🙂 Some of the current research on avatars in virtual worlds has shown that rather than embody whole new personalities, avatars tend to help people develop and deepen the personality that is already there.

    Amy

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