Facilitator, researcher, politician, magician

Anne Herbert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Practitioners considering researching and facilitating processes that are concurrently within the same context are likely to encounter pressures and choices unlike those faced by others choosing to separate the roles of facilitator and researcher. Research and facilitation are widely regarded as serving different purposes with different goals and outcomes; however, some intersections can be highly productive while also being stimulating, uncomfortable, energizing, conflicted, puzzling, and revealing. Simultaneously occupying facilitator and researcher roles requires greater mindfulness of one's actions and emotions than if one is occupying only one role. This article offers four metaphors-'politician,' 'magician,' 'trader/traitor,' and 'ventriloquist'-to highlight the kinds of pressures likely to be encountered and the nature of resulting choices when intending to research the processes of one's own facilitator practices and contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-693
Number of pages13
JournalSimulation and Gaming
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2010
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • facilitation
  • metaphors
  • researching
  • role choices

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