• Chettinad Sarvalokaa

Academic Mentoring - A Shift from Teaching to Facilitating

What is Academic Mentoring?


Mentoring is a supportive learning relationships between the teacher and the learner, where the teacher shares knowledge and skills to the learner. This system establishes a better and effective student-teacher relationship in the students’ academic pursuits.


A ‘Mentor’ is someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and highly proficient in his/her field of study. A good mentor is someone who offers just the right kind of support well-suited to the needs of the students.


Why is Academic Mentoring required?

  • Students gain practical advice, encouragement and support.

  • They get to learn from the experiences of others.

  • Increases their social and academic confidence.

  • They become more empowered to make decisions.

  • Helps in developing their communication, study and personal skills.

  • They learn to develop strategies for dealing with both personal and academic issues.

  • Supports them in establishing their goals and establish a sense of direction.

What is the Difference between Teaching and Facilitating?


Teaching is a process whereby a teacher provides information to the students in acquiring knowledge and skills. This usually happens in a class-room setting where the teacher lectures and the students listen. The teacher provides the information and the answers. The teacher is responsible for measuring how much information the student learns and evaluation is often in the form of tests.


Facilitating is helping and making it easy for students to learn together in a group, to achieve something in a group. It helps students to discover and learn by themselves. The facilitator guides the learning process and provides the right questions for the learners to find the answers for.


A Comparison of Teaching and Facilitating:

  • Teacher focuses on the lesson content. Facilitator focuses on the learning process.

  • Teacher takes the major responsibility of learning that happens in the class-room. The learner takes the major responsibility of learning.

  • Teacher determines what students need to know. Learners work with their facilitators to determine what information and skills they need to obtain

  • Teacher has the responsibility for obtaining information and delivering it to students. Facilitator gives guidance to learners in seeking information on their own.

  • Teacher stands at front of the room. Facilitator sits with thelearners.

  • Expertise of teacher is critical in instruction. Facilitator identifies and draws on expertise of participants

Shifting from Teaching to Facilitating:


How does a teacher shift from the teaching process to the facilitating process?

  • · First and foremost understand the fact that facilitating is learning too.

  • · Catching up with your students’ knowledge.

  • · Find interesting materials.

  • · Be a good listener.

  • · Ask the right question and help the students come up with the right answers.

  • · Offer skills that lead to learning.

  • · Respect each one of the students.

Both teaching and facilitation are effective instructional techniques, but instructors who are able to apply both methods strategically and effectively can attain greater success in delivering information and empowering the learners.

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