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Chicana(o) & Latina(o) Studies: CLS 1200 Chicanas/os Latinas/os, Gender, and Class in the US Experience

What is facilitating?

Facilitation involves guiding a group through a participatory process that encourages discussion and interactive activities that will assist your students' learning.

Facilitation includes: 

  • Making sure everyone feels comfortable participating and feels included
  • Supporting everyone's ideas
  • Summarizing important points 

Be mindful of: 

  • Rather than taking charge of the process, help the group find their own leadership
  • Making decisions for the group
  • Acting as the expert. Help pull out the knowledge in the room

Here are a few resources provided by the Professor.

The before, during, and after of facilitating

Keep in mind as you create a facilitation plan:

Brainstorm your POP (Purpose, Outcome, Process)

Set a clear purpose for your gathering - why is the group meeting? Then come up with the desired outcome - how will we actually achieve the purpose and outcome?

Describe your plan for the gathering - brainstorm a list of activities you'll do or topics you'll discuss, along with how long you think they might take, to help the group visualize the process. Think about how the room you're gathering in can be made comfortable for everyone.

Only use technology if it will support your group's goals! Make sure to test any technology you use before the gathering so you won't waste valuable time trying to make something work or end up having to scrap a part of your facilitation plan.


Here are some things to keep in mind as you open the space and move through the process together:

Welcome folks into the space

Go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves with their name, pronouns, and answer to a check-in question or prompt.

Create group agreements

If timing permits, brainstorm a list of agreements for how the group wants to engage with each other in the space. You can start off with some suggestions then ask the group to add their own. Write the agreements on a large piece of paper and place them prominently in the space so the group can refer back to them throughout the gathering.

Build in a variety of ways to participate

Make sure to have a mix of activities to allow people with different learning styles and access needs to participate fully. This can include large group discussions, small group shares, individual reflections, movement games, and more.

Make room to relate

Include ways for folks to get to know one another and build trust, either in small groups or in pairs, which can include check-ins, pair shares, ice breakers, energizers, and open-ended questions.

Keep the group on track

Stick to the agenda and gently, but firmly, keep the group on track and on time by checking in regularly, balancing participation, and summarizing the conversation.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you close the space:

Hold space for reflection

Make time in the end for people to reflect on what you did together. Offer a question or prompt and have folks respond individually in writing or verbally with a partner, then invite everyone to share back with the group.

Summarize what was shared

Reflect back on what you saw and heard to help the group remember what was talked about and make sure everyone is ending on the same page.

Wrap up with your facilitation team

Congratulate everyone on going through this process together! Check-in with your co-facilitator(s) and make time to debrief how your facilitation went.

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