Facilitators of Knowledge: Believing in the Co-Construction of Knowledge

Facilitators of Knowledge: Believing in the Co-Construction of Knowledge

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8867-2.ch003

Abstract

In this chapter, the author explicates the African approach of facilitating knowledge through eldering, where knowledge construction is a communal experience. Through this culturally responsive approach, students are encouraged to exchange ideas, perspectives, and insight to contribute to the knowledge pool. The author demonstrates how educators' beliefs about knowledge shapes their culturally responsive approach of facilitating knowledge in the context of the classroom and in the communities of their students in contrast to teachers who only delivered knowledge. The author makes the case that culturally responsive educators approach their role in the teaching and learning process as facilitators. The author ends with recommendations for both teachers and teacher educators. Amongst those recommendations are scholars of color who have been omitted from the list of educational theorists, whom the author presents as educational theorists.
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Introduction

For culturally relevant teachers, what is “essential” or “fundamental” in education is not what students learn, should learn, or must unlearn, but what teachers and students learn together. Teachers are progressive, conservative and liberatory because they must be if they hope to develop a shared understanding with their students. (Beckett,2011)

Education is not the filling of the pail but the lighting of a fire. – William Yeats

  • Approach 3: Facilitate knowledge through eldering, where knowledge construction is a communal experience within and outside of the school.

In schools across our country, many children, as early as preschool, are inundated with either or both, worksheets and/or textbook driven assignments. In most cases, children are lectured to and given information to memorize. They become passive and dependent as learners (Hammond, 2018) after years of being ordered to sit, be quiet, and learn. When they do question the teacher, they are often reprimanded for being disrespectful, for having the audacity to challenge the teacher. These teachers are typically those who perceive themselves as bearers of knowledge. They oftentimes sarcastically remind their students, “I have mine. You need to get yours.” Essentially, “mine” is referring to the education/knowledge that children must ‘get’ from the teacher. Although, some teachers mean well by this saying, it reifies the notion of knowledge as something provided by the teacher. However, culturally responsive educators hold an alternative view.They engage in the lighting of a fire for education, not filling the pail, which will be examined in this chapter.

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