INTRODUCTION AND CRITICAL FACILITATION
Amy C. Barnes
Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes "the practice of freedom," the means by which [people] deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.
Shaullas cited in Freire, 2000, p. 34
This guide was created by a dedicated group of educators committed to teaching, researching, and analyzing leadership theory and organizational dynamics using critical perspectives. As a companion tool for the main book, Leadership Theory: Cultivating Critical Perspectives (Dugan, 2017), this guide serves as a resource to help facilitators and educators bring to life a critical pedagogy of leadership studies. This guide is structured to mirror and supplement the main text; however, it can also be used as a stand-alone resource. Using meta-themes from critical theory as the paradigm through which participants learn, the following chapters contain intentional and unique curricula crafted to guide participants toward a greater understanding of how power, privilege, and oppression affect leadership dynamics.
Facilitation design is foundational to rich and insightful group processes. Giving thought to things such as how time is structured, physical environment and space configuration, framing of reflection, whether and when there should be breaks, what materials to use, and whether to provide food and/or drinks (to name a few), can maximize the focus, efficiency, and effectiveness of group learning. Accordingly, each chapter within this guide includes (1) an introduction to the leadership theories or concepts discussed in the corresponding main text chapter; (2) a theoretical or conceptual framing of the specific curriculum; (3) learning outcomes and material lists for each activity; (4) step-by-step facilitation guidelines; and (5) tailored debriefing and facilitator notes to provide you with additional insight and support. Furthermore, if an activity suggests leading small- or large-group discussion, then sample questions are provided; and if supplementary content is needed to facilitate a specific activity, then the requisite instructions, materials, and/or resource links are also provided.
Although the authors have shared a comprehensive plan within each chapter, the curricula are designed to allow for flexibility in timeline and structure so that content can be easily adapted for use in formal classrooms as well as cocurricular or professional training environments. This guide is designed to equip you with ideas, strategies, and tools to effectively facilitate sociocultural dialogue and critical leadership learning. Facilitating curricula from a critical perspective where stereotypes, biases, and privilege are challenged can be difficult. Yet introducing these concepts, discussions, and perspectives is the necessary work of leadership educators. The remainder of this introduction will focus on critical pedagogy and an approach to facilitation that will help to support the teaching of this content.
Experiential, Transformative, and Developmentally Sequenced Learning
The approach to this facilitator guide is activity- and discussion-based and reflects Kolb's (1984) theory of experiential learning. Kolb's theory described learning as "the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience" (p. 38). The Kolb cycle of learning includes four stages that further learning, understanding, and integration of concrete human experiences through a cyclical process of feeling, watching, thinking, and doing. This approach allows learners to make meaning of current experiences and empowers them to engage in their own learning process.