The non-facilitator was adopting a pedagogic approach to the course. The facilitator could perceive how this devalued the group. The group were not permitted to explore issues and the non-facilitator was clearly ‘sticking to the book’. The facilitator began to feel excluded and thus started to withdraw. He adopted the attitude that his contributions were not valued, the course was nothing to do with him, and that the non-facilitator was running it. The group became less responsive, realising that their input was neither expected nor wanted by the non-facilitator.
The effect on the group
Because a non-facilitator adopts a more didactic, pedagogic approach, the group are expected to ‘sit at the trainer’s feet’ and listen to the information. But the facilitator, who is trying to encourage the group to become more involved with the discussion, wants to adopt a more androgogic approach. The facilitator encourages contributions whereas the non-facilitator does not. Because of this, when the non-facilitator speaks, the facilitator waits, the facilitator is encouraging the non-facilitator’s contributions! Thus the group waits whilst the non-facilitator talks. The pedagogic approach becomes established as the norm within the group and the androgogic approach takes a back seat. The group does not feel encouraged to provide contributions and takes the lead from the facilitator who has withdrawn.
At times the facilitator gets so frustrated he wants to shout “Let the group answer this!” but he is also now ‘sitting at the feet’ of the non-facilitator and feels as unresponsive as the group, resenting the pedagogic approach which is now so alien to him but feeling powerless to do anything about it.
The moral of this story is that if you put a trainer with a pedagogic approach together with a trainer who has an androgogic approach, the pedagogic approach will always win out because the androgogic facilitator expects contributions and waits for others to finish. If the non-facilitator never finishes, the facilitator never contributes!
How would you deal with this situation?