Rinie Schenck, Huma Louw


The term “facilitation” is often used in promoting social change and used by change agents to
refer to many actions they perform to bring about learning, change and development. For
instance, in training and education the terms used are “facilitators” and “learners” and in other
contexts facilitation is more comprehensive than merely facilitating learning. It may include
different types of change and development. Soal (2004:55) refers to the latter form of
facilitation as “facilitation through the change threshold”.
Often change agents refer to their actions as facilitation, but do not clearly describe the
meaning of the concept, or they act in such a way that it cannot be regarded as facilitation but
rather as instruction, induction or top-down methods.
The need for this article arose because of this lack of clarity and the different meanings that are
attached to the concept of facilitation and its theoretical base.

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