Dialogue Education at Work: A Case Book
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In her landmark book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach, celebrated adult educator Jane Vella outlined twelve principles of Dialogue Education, an approach to learning as a holistic, integrated, spiritual, and energetic process. Since the book was first published, her learning principles have been used in a wide variety of adult learning settings, in different countries and with different educational purposes, clearly demonstrating that these principles can be used successfully with any type of adult learner, anywhere.
Dialogue Education at Work is the companion book to Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach. This is the first book to show how educators worldwide have used Vella's methods to transform their classrooms and organizations into vital places of learning. Written for adult educators, staff developers, leaders of community service organizations, volunteer coordinators, and vocational trainers, Dialogue Education at Work is filled with illustrative case studies from a broad range of organizations that show how to put Vella's principles into action.


Jane Vella is adjunct professor at the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1981, she founded the Jubilee Popular Education Center in Raleigh, which is now Global Learning Partners. Vella has designed and led community education and staff development programs in more than forty countries around the world. She is the author or coauthor of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach; Training Through Dialogue; How Do They Know They Know?; and Taking Learning to Task, all from Jossey-Bass.


Foreword (Margaret Wheatley).


The Authors.

Introduction: Dialogue Education Today (Jane Vella).

Part I: University Education.

1. Dialogue Education Goes to College (Jane Marantz Connor).

2. Nutrition Education in an Undergraduate Setting (Elena Carbone).

3. Creating a Culture for Dialogue in a Nutrition Education Program (Meredith Pearson).

4. Dialogue Education at a Weekend College: An Accelerated Master’s Degree in Education (Marianne Reiff).

5. Dialogue Education in a Videoconferencing Classroom: An Undergraduate-Level Early Childhood Certificate Program (Steven I. Stahl).

6. Dialogue Education at a Student Union: College Students as Adult Partners (Jay Ekleberry, Mary Hoddy, Tara Cordes).

7. Transformative Learning in Faculty Development: A Case Study from South Africa (Sarah Gravett).

Part II: The Public Sector and Not-for-Profit Organizations.

8. Dialogue Education Goes to Court: The National Court-Appointed Special Advocate Association Prepares Volunteers Through Dialogue Education (Cynthia Bizzell).

9. Changing the Self, Changing the System: A Workplace Success Program Succeeds with a Dialogue Approach (Valerie Uccellani, Jyaphia Christos-Rodgers, Mack Slan).

10. From Telling to Teaching in Appalachia: The Mountain Microenterprise Fund of North Carolina (Joye Norris, Greg Walker-Wilson).

11. Welfare to Work via Dialogue Education: The Voices of Bread and Roses (Barbara Gassner).

12. Appreciative Inquiry and Dialogue Education Meet in Strategic Planning (Darlene Goetzman).

13. Teaching Communities to Lobby for Social Justice (Michael Culliton).

14. Choices: Steps Toward Health: A Dialogue Education Curriculum of the National Extended Food and Nutrition Program (Jean Anliker).

15. Vermont Math and Science Teachers Move from Monologue to Dialogue (Kathy Johnson, Peter Perkins, Nicole Saginor).

16. Using Dialogue for Strategic Planning Sessions (Karen G. Ridout).

17. Dialogue Education in California’s Women, Infants, and Children Program (Valerie Uccellani).

Part III: International Education.

18. The Double Bottom Line: Dialogue Education in Microfinance Services for the Poor (Robb Davis, Jeanette Treiber, Ellen Vor der Bruegge).

19. Dialogue Education Goes to Primary School in Haiti (Linda Gershuny).

20. Taking Time for Praxis in Cambodia (Gail von Hahmann).

21. Educational Revolution on the Volga River: Learning as a Personal Victory in the New Russia (Peter Perkins, Michaela B. Stickney).

22. Using Dialogue Education to Transform Primary Health Care in Chile (Klaus Püschel).

23. Organizing to Undo Racism in Canada: Designing for Safety in an Antiracism Program (Peter Noteboom).

Conclusion: The Future of Dialogue Education (Jane Vella).

Appendix: Selected Principles and Practices of Dialogue Education.



"Vella's new book is a marvelous kaleidoscope of diverse evidence and rich testimony of realities that have been modified by the power of dialogic education. We recently incorporated this approach at the Educational Centre for Clinical Tutors. Right now it is a must for our clinical faculties at the Medical School."
— Joaquin Montero, chairman, Internal Medicine Department, P. Universidad Catolica de Chile

"Dialogue education is at the heart of Freedom from Hunger's Credit with Education strategy. We have been fortunate to see the power of dialogue to transform mere information sharing into action for change in the groups of women with whom we work. As an organization we have also experienced profound change in our approach to designing technical assistance, internal meetings, and consultations as a result of our use of the approaches described in this book. Dialogue education is transformative."
— Christopher Dunford, president, Freedom from Hunger

"This book provides truly remarkable insight on high-performance, student-centered learning. Readers of this book will certainly find not only practical applications of these principles, but also compelling reasons to adopt them in their own approach to teaching."
— Paul H. Jacques, professor, School of Management, SUNY Binghamton