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Developed by the American psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1980s, facilitative learning is a
humanistic approach to learning.
Humanism was developed to contrast cognitivism and behaviourism. Both Rogers and Maslow
(see above) based their work in humanism. The key perspectives of humanism are as follows:
● People have a natural desire to learn in order to achieve self-actualisation (see Maslow’s
theory above).
● It is not the outcome that is the most important part of education, it is the process of
learning itself.
● The students themselves should be in control of their learning and it should be achieved
through observing and exploring.
● The teacher should be an encouraging role model, motivating, guiding and supporting
students on their own personal journey.
Facilitative Learning.
Rogers’ views the teacher as a facilitator to learning rather than just a conveyor of knowledge.
The success of the teacher is in their ability to build positive relationships with students.
Roger’s proposed three attitudinal core characteristics that a teacher should possess for
facilitative learning to be successful:
● Realness. The teacher should be themselves and use their own personality when
teaching. Being “real” with students breeds an ethos of trust between students and a
teacher. The teacher should be able to convey their feelings rather than just being a
monotonal, monochromatic robot.
● Prizing, Accepting and Trusting. A teacher should care about their students and
accept their feelings, regardless of whether they assist or detract from learning. Through
these characteristics, deeper trust and respect is built.
● Empathy. Understanding the student’s perception of learning and their feelings.

The effectiveness of facilitative learning also requires certain traits to be present in the student.
They should be motivated, aware of the facilitative conditions they have been provided with and
aware that the task they have been given is useful, realistic and relevant.

Categories: Pedagogy


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