"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella

About Dialogue Education

The power of the learner

Traditional teaching or training is usually one-sided:   the expert talks; the learner  listens. But how much does the learner actually retain? Typically, not enough for the long-term. While it’s true that instructional methods have evolved to incorporate more discussion and participation amongst learners, it’s also true that it’s often done without consideration of how that activity is linked to what the learner had hoped to learn or what the trainer had hoped to teach.

What if you could experience training or teaching that genuinely inspires you – not just during the learning event, but in a way that creates lasting and profound changes in your knowledge, skills, and attitudes, years after the session ends? Training based on deep theory, and structured to be responsive and accountable to your needs? In other words, training that is designed to profoundly change your experiences.

Global Learning Partners uses Dialogue Education™ as the framework for exactly this type of experience. Whether you are an individual seeking a great learning opportunity or a training/teaching professional wanting to create amazing learning events, Dialogue Education will ensure that transformative, lasting learning takes place.

What sets Dialogue Education apart from other methods is the shift in focus to the learner and their learning. (See the chart that compares Dialogue Education to other teaching methods.) We recognize that when people have the power to be active decision-makers in their own learning, they are likely to experience real and lasting development. We do this by creating a framework that is uniquely tailored to each learner’s goals and needs (see the diagram, above). Our methods are based on theory, facilitated by teachers who are compassionate, creative, skilled, responsive, and attentive, in sessions that are both focused and fun. With Dialogue Education, the learning atmosphere is safe and respectful, a place where people are both challenged and supported to maximize learning. As a result, you’ll experience a higher, more organic retention of skills and knowledge for the long-term.

The 10 Principles at the Heart of Dialogue Education

  1. Learning needs and resources assessment to ensure the workshop is responsive to the learner’s specific challenges and objectives
  2. A safe environment and process for all types of learners and learning needs
  3. Content sequence and learning reinforcement that continuously support learners in reaching their goals
  4. Active learning through praxis: the synthesis of action enriched by reflection, or learning by doing
  5. Respect for each unique learner as the focus of their own learning
  6. Addressing all three learning domains:  cognitive (ideas), affective (feelings) and psychomotor (actions)
  7. Workshop design that gives learners an immediate experience of their desired learning
  8. Collaboration through teamwork, small groups and pairs for lively interaction, discussion and purposeful dialogue
  9. Content and methods that keep people immersed and engaged in the learning experience
  10. Mutual accountability:  the instructor’s accountability to the learners, and the learners’ accountability not only to the instructor but – most importantly – to themselves

These principles of Dialogue Education draw on the work of Paulo Freire, Malcolm Knowles, and other acknowledged visionaries in the field of adult education. In expanding on these principles, Dr. Jane Vella  has synthesized and codified the concepts into six practices that have enormous power to help you gain direct, measurable and effective results. In some places, people still refer to Dialogue Education as "The Vella Approach" in honor of its founder, Jane Vella.

The 6 Practices of Dialogue Education

  1. 8 Steps of Design: Each learner’s needs influence how we design and structure each step of every learning event.
  2. Learning tasks: An immersive approach that maximizes results by guiding learners to: reflect on their own experience; actively engage with the workshop content and apply it immediately; and review the relevance of what was just learned and how it applies to each learner’s own situation.
  3. Achievement-based objectives (ABOs): These give learners concrete terms for understanding their actions and progress in each phase of the learning event. We use Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive learning to define each objective so learners know exactly what they will have accomplished with the content during the learning event (e.g. solved, categorized, diagrammed, developed, evaluated).
  4. Recognizing and supporting different learning styles:  For each individual’s best results, our methods and content are designed to work with each preferred learning style and strength (visual, auditory or kinesthetic), learning domain (cognitive, affective or psychomotor), and multiple intelligences.
  5. Weaving, waiting and affirming:  Our facilitators use these and other techniques to facilitate a safe and respectful atmosphere where each learner is valued and supported, and therefore open to his or her own possibilities.
  6. Warm-ups, safe feedback, synthesis, and evaluation: All are integral practices built into the learning experience to maximize each learner’s results.



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