"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella
Jane Vella accepting the Dory Storms Award from CORE in Washington, DC.
What an exciting year for friends and practitioners of Dialogue Education! In 2012 we celebrate three significant developments: international recognition of one of the most gifted adult educators of our time, Dr. Jane Vella; the 30th anniversary of Global Learning Partners (GLP)—an organization dedicated to using Dialogue Education to create profound and lasting change in the world; and the announcement of an International Dialogue Education Institute for 2013.
This month GLP founder Dr. Jane Vella received two awards. On October 9, the School of Medicine of the Pontifical University of Chile awarded Jane the title Honorary Faculty Member. The presentation was made at Jane’s home in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Professor Joaquin Montero, MD, MPH, with doctors of the Faculty of Medicine in Santiago joining via video-conference. The award recognized the effectiveness of Jane’s Dialogue Education approach, which is being used in both classrooms and clinics.
In presenting the award, Professor Montero noted, “Twenty years ago, when she participated as the guest of honor at the launching of the Family Medicine program, few could foresee the relevance of the path she was opening. [Today] many faculty members have followed in her steps and are now helping others learn in a new way…sowing this seed all around the country.”
The second recognition, the 2012 Dory Storms award, was presented to Jane on October 11 in Washington, D.C., by The CORE Group, an association of more than 50 international organizations who improve public health practices with underserved populations. Given by peer vote, the award recognizes exceptional efforts that result in improved health and survival for children. CORE noted that Jane’s Dialogue Education system, now used in more than 60 countries, has “helped transform how learning events in child survival/health programs are designed and led globally.”
In commenting on the awards, Jane noted that “both in a way bring me full circle.” She observed that it was in Santiago that Paulo Freire, then in exile from Brazil, wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a work that influenced her development of Dialogue Education. Similarly, her initial international work in Tanzania included a focus on the health of children, adding “…my best teachers were the people in the villages.”
We join adult educators throughout the world in expressing deep appreciation for Jane and the impactful work she generously shares.
Three decades ago, as a budding entrepreneur, Jane founded what eventually became Global Learning Partners, Inc., and began teaching courses from her living room and writing books about the approach. In 2000, she sold the company to two GLP Certified Teachers.
Today, GLP is an organization that includes a world-wide community of Certified Dialogue Education Teachers, Certified Dialogue Education Practitioners, GLP owners and staff, a core consulting team, and thousands of people in 60 countries who have completed GLP’s core course.
As Dialogue Education practitioners, we continue to put the ever-evolving principles of Dialogue Education into practice in non-profit organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, and corporations around the world with the intention that our work, like Jane’s, will have profound impact on some of the world’s most pressing challenges and promising opportunities. Such intentional work is nurtured and strengthened by occasions for this network to gather, which brings us to the third cause for celebration.
Mark your calendars for October 24 – 27, 2013, and plan to join us in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., for the third such convocation in GLP history. The Institute promises to be a time rich in learning, friendship and laughter. Watch the GLP website and make sure you're signed up to receive e-mail news.
Each of us is vital to this ever-growing Dialogue Education community. With deep gratitude for our shared work, we close with Jane’s encapsulation of the approach: "The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace."
Jane was asked in a recent interview what she found most enduring about Dialogue Education over the 30 years. She replied, “The laughter! …Laughter is absolutely essential to dialogue. I don’t think there is anything else that I would ever say that about. Everything else will change. The Seven Steps [of Design] became Eight Steps. Nothing is sacred, except the laughter. …You can have a lot of teaching without laughing, but there is no learning without laughing.”
“The other thing that persists is that this is an on-going research agenda. I feel very strongly about the underlying theoretical basis. We must be hard-nosed about the theory. That theoretical base needs to continue to inform and corroborate what we teach.”
Dr. Jane Vella receives the diploma naming her Honorary Faculty Member from Dr. Joaquin Montero.