The Moderator

One of the persons participating in the gathering has the role of the moderator. This person is chosen dialogically, and their function is to ensure egalitarian participation by everyone. It is not necessary to be an expert in a subject of science to give clarifications and explanations, like in a class, which would create a unilateral, question–answer dialogue or an unequal relationship of "ignorant–expert" (Freire, 1970, p. 63). It is sufficient that the person moderating the session has knowledge about the proper functioning and criteria of Scientific Dialogic Gatherings (SDGs) to facilitate collective meaning-building. The participants bear the responsibility to discuss, exchange views and come up with questions.

 “If the educator is the one who knows and the pupil the ignorant, he should, then, the first one, give, deliver, carry,
transfer his/her knowledge to the second one
” (ibid., p. 63).

The main function of the moderator, therefore, is to maintain the order of interventions and, as mentioned earlier, to prioritise the participation of people with more difficulties speaking in public while their preference is not to do so. The moderator is responsible for ensuring a fair, equal distribution of the available time.

Other points for the moderator to take into account are:

  • To never impose their opinion
  • To not explain or present the content or judge the interventions
  • To be on the same level as the participants
  • To establish a climate of egalitarian dialogue and respect

In this Spanish-speaking video you see an example.

Additional guidance are provided in the section about relevant criteria which have to be taken into account for the correct functioning of SDGs.



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