Competencies of the educator using Anicare approach
Competence is defined as the mobilization or activation of several types of knowledge in a given situation and context (Leboterf, 1995). We consider the key competencies of an educator (educator has to be considered in a wide sense: it involves any person having a formal or informal education approach with farmers: teacher, trainer, vet, agronomy engineer) involved in animal welfare. The competencies we are interested in here are related to the particular approach proposed in the framework of Anicare.
- 1. Adopt a socio-constructivist approach for animal welfare education based on the background of socially acute questions.
We consider that the teacher views animal welfare as a socially live issue, i.e. subject to scientific, ethical and political controversy. Furthermore, he or she prefers to place his or her teaching within a constructivist and socio-constructivist learning paradigm. It means that the student has prior conceptions, and the teaching aims to make them evolve. This evolution is preferably based on confrontation and exchange between peers and with the teacher.
- 2. Take an impartial posture with regards to the concept of animal welfare, combining the positions of facilitator, mediator, accompanist and expert.
The teacher considers animal welfare to be a notion that is scientific, but also ethical and subject to a subjective vision. It is, therefore, necessary for him or her to have a global knowledge of the ethical and scientific controversies at stake. The teacher's pedagogical approach is designed to enable the learner to have a global vision of the problem. By implementing an active, confrontational pedagogy the teacher adopts the posture of facilitator (to enable constructive exchanges), mediator (in case of conflict), coach (to enable individuals to develop their own thinking and posture) or expert (to institutionalize the knowledge acquired).
- 3. Enlighten learners’ own conceptions and use these to build a pedagogical process.
The teacher chooses appropriate tools to highlight students' conceptions. Once these have been analysed, the teacher can define the related levers and obstacles and develop a teaching strategy in response.
- 4. Create complex issues (situation-problem, dilemma, philosophical questions, debate) adapted to the learning situation, the related objectives and the public.
The teacher develops didactic situations that encourage critical, creative and attentive thinking from the learner.
- 5. Create an open and distance learning process combining individual, peer-group and conference phases.
The teacher deploys a didactic strategy alternating face-to-face and distance learning phases (in particular through the Aniphi platform), allowing individual, group and plenary exchange. This also requires mastering technical challenges.
- 6. Implement and pursue an evaluation process adapted to a socio-constructivist approach.
The teacher elaborates a self and co-evaluation process highlighting the development of competencies by the learners.
- 7. The teacher is well aware of his/her own values and prejudices concerning the issue and recognizes situations where his/her own emotions become active and try to interfere with the learning process. He/she thus must take active steps to prevent any bias.