Common Challenges for the Facilitator
Eliciting Teacher Interest and Enthusiasm
Start-up begins by soliciting buy-in. This requires an ability on the part of the facilitator to motivate and ignite interest. However, at this stage a facilitator also needs to guard against overselling and over promising and also needs to be firm about the prerequisites. A candid statement needs to be made at the onset that this is only one of many approaches that teachers and administrators can use to leverage innovation.
Mobilizing the Team
Facilitators take major responsibility for mobilizing or "jump-starting" the team. They need to build the type of rapport that will enable the group to move forward.
One of the most critical challenges facing a facilitator is to begin a process of team building. They need to help the team build productive and respectful working relationships. Facilitators need to model behaviors that show respect for individuals and diverse ideas, establish group norms of acceptable behavior, and use strategies that encourage contributions from all members.
Intervening to Strengthen the Unit
During curriculum design, the facilitator oversees and manages the curriculum design process to ensure that teachers experience a sense of accomplishment. To be successful, the facilitator must:
Help the Team Keep a Positive Attitude
Facilitators must help the team stay positive and productive. During curriculum implementation, the facilitator can assist teachers by making sure the team meets regularly (usually during common planning time and/or before or after school) to:
Once in the throes of implementation, frustrations, unresolved issues, and tensions existing between individuals naturally surface. As a diagnostician, the facilitator helps identify and sort the issues; and as a negotiator, the facilitator helps the team resolve them.
Understand the Link Between Teaching and Learning
Ensuring student accountability is a major concern during curriculum implementation. Students need to understand what is required of each phase, how one phase relates to another, where they are at any time in the process, and how the I-Search process links to product development. The facilitator helps teachers better understand the direct link between teaching and learning by asking the teachers to make the four phases of the I-Search process explicit.
Push for Ongoing Assessment
Facilitators need to keep pushing teachers to assess student performance against a set criteria determined by the team. Furthermore, if ongoing assessment reveals that students are running into difficulty, then facilitators must help teachers develop specific strategies to help the students.
Refrain from Evaluation
After the unit ends, the facilitator guides the team to reflect on the