Facilitation in Practice:
In this chapter we explore the skills of facilitation enabling the formation of relationships within which reflective dialogue and critically reflective learning can take place. We established in Chapter 9 that such facilitation should include the core conditions of empathy, warmth and congruence, as well as aspects of all three domains of learning, so that knowing, acting and feeling are integrated through the process of reflection.
Our emphasis in this chapter is with the affective and action domains, so that emotional expression, empathy, conflict and congruent challenge are examined. The skills of questioning, immediacy, feedback and confrontation, are also described, as well as some techniques for dealing with the group dynamics which emerge in student groups.
Emotion, as we have seen, has not featured in the academic tradition. In introducing reflection to higher education we need to address the management of emotion because of its key role in reflective dialogue, doubleloop learning (see Chapter 3) and reflective learning.
The process of reflection begins with 'uncomfortable feelings and thoughts', discomfort or surprise, and moves on to analysis of these feelings and thoughts; leading to potentially new perspectives (Atkins and Murphy, 1993). To enable learning through reflection the learner needs to be in touch with those feelings, aware of their significance, and be able to: 'describe these verbally and/or in writing' (p. 1190).
We note the implicit devaluing of emotion in some interpretations of reflection, with traces still of the mind/body dualism discussed in Chapter 2, and we support the movement towards recognizing emotional and experiential knowledge as itself contributing to transformational learning (Michelson, 1995).
We have also seen that interpretations of reflection almost always present it as an isolated activity, undertaken by the learner inwardly, with only selfreport of the process through reflective documents and the like (Atkins and Murphy, 1993; Barnett, 1997; Harvey and Knight, 1996; Mezirow, 1990; Moon, 1998). We are suggesting that, while intrapersonal dialogue is