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

The Breakout Learning Sessions

The sessions listed below are in alphabetical order by title. Each of the 90-minute sessions are offered twice during the Institute, and the 3-hour sessions are offered once. Dates, times, and locations are listed here for each session and you can click on each facilitator's name to read their biographical information.


Schedule Summary 

Full Program

Complete Sessions Descriptions, including bios (23 pages)

An Archetypal Journey Through the 8 Steps of Design

Marta Koonz, Doctoral Student
Pacifica Graduate Institute
Cromwell, Connecticut, USA

Archetypes are something many people have heard of, but few truly understand. (As someone engaged at the doctoral level in archetypal studies, I would argue that even many who believe they truly understand them do not! They often leave me wondering exactly what it is I do know about them.). Yet a basic understanding of archetypal energy and how it influences our behavior can enrich the work that we do. This learning experience will focus on our design work in Dialogue Education, and explore how interactive dialogue with 12 core archetypes can improve our relationship with the 8 steps of design.

Friday, Oct 25, 4 - 5:30 pm, James Room Level 4 and Saturday, Oct 26, 4 - 5:30 pm, Helena Room Level 4

Changing the Brain, Freeing the Mind:  Adults in Dialogue to Benefit Children and Our Future

Christelle Estrada, English Education Specialist
Utah State Office of Education

Janet Kaufman, English Education Director
University of Utah

Kenna Rodgers, MEd, Instructional Literacy Leader
Glendale Middle School
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

How do the principles of Dialogue Education, as supported by the findings in neuroscience, create opportunities for adults to learn with children, youth, and other adults about the change that is possible in their daily lives?  This session will highlight the most recent findings in affective neuroscience and its practical application to an innovative partnership across organizations:  The Utah State Office of Education, the University of Utah, and a Salt Lake City elementary school  designated as a federally funded high poverty school. Participants will use The Grump Meter to better experience the purpose of the Utah partnership and gain insight into what it means to be a self-regulating and mindful learner for the purpose of meaningful change in school, home, community, and other organizations.

Friday, Oct 25, 11am - 12:30 pm, James Room Level 4 and Saturday, Oct 26, 4 - 5:30 pm, James Room Level 4

Dialogue Education Goes to Court:  Two Decades of Culture Change in Volunteer Court Advocate Training

Cindy Bizzell, Administrator, Guardian ad Litem Program
North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Sue Button, Consultant, Raleigh, North Carolina

Are you looking for ways to ensure your learning programs are integral, sustainable, and relevant to the contexts in which they are introduced? Have you discovered that designing and implementing a sound training program is not sufficient on its own to transform your organization? This session explores the vital role played by formal leaders in supporting lasting organizational change. The Dialogue Education experience of the NC GAL Program and the National CASA Association over the last twenty years will be presented as an evolving case study.

Friday, Oct 25, 2 - 3 pm, Iron Room Level 4 and Saturday, Oct 26, 9 - 10:30 am, Helena Room Level 4

Dialogue Education When There’s No Dialogue

Jonathan Kidde
Vermont Association of Court Diversion Programs
Vergennes, Vermont, USA

We’ve all experienced the didactic lecture, the disengaging webinar, or multi-day mind-numbing conference. The IDEI presents a unique opportunity to develop effective tools and techniques to employ Dialogue Education (DE) in situations where adult learning principles are absent. This session will explore the following questions:

  • How might individuals, groups, and organizations use DE to pry out the valuable buried content and apply it with immediacy and relevance?
  • How can DE be used before an event to internally engage the mind of someone who otherwise would be a passive participant?
  • How can the core principles of DE and the 8 steps of design be applied retroactively to an even that lacked the opportunity in the moment?

Your experiences and ideas will be utilized to generate new ideas around applying Dialogue Education where there is no dialogue.

Friday, Oct 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, Waterview D Lobby Level and 11 am - 12:30 pm Waterview D Lobby Level

Dialogue in the Warehouse:  Up Against Hard Skills and Hard Decisions

Peggy da Silva, MPH
Principal, Consulting for Community
San Francisco, California, USA

Terina McCraw, MFA
Head Trainer, Veritable Vegetable, Inc.
San Leandro, California, USA

The unique challenges of a Production and Distribution workplace – hard skills, low-wage and low-retention workers, low profit margins, and skepticism about adult education – provide a vibrant proving ground for the practice of Dialogue Education. Traditional training relies on off-the-shelf videos, shadowing, and a check-off-the-box approach to workplace learning.

We will explore the experience of implementing dialogue education in a Production and Distribution workplace, and analyze the differences between the type of training traditionally offered in a warehouse and new approaches that utilize dialogue. We will practice creating relevant training activities, evaluate their effectiveness vs. traditional methods, and develop skills in presenting and validating our approach with skeptical managers. We aim to leave the session better able to bring about change in Production and Distribution workplaces – better worker engagement and retention, a more inclusive company culture – through the implementation of training that includes the principles of Dialogue Education.

Friday, Oct 25, 11 am - 12:30 pm, Helena Room Level 4 and Saturday, Oct 26, 4 - 5:30 pm, Iron Room Level 4

Educational Jujutsu for the 21st Century:  Applying User Research and Design in Learning

Amy Scatliff, EdD
Scatliff Educational Consulting
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Michael Culliton, Partner
Global Learning Partners, Inc.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

We are in time of profound change. How people socialize, learn, work and play is changing rapidly. For many of us, it feels as though we are “running to keep up.” The flurry of innovation can leave us feeling overwhelmed, confused, and disoriented. At the same time, we often feel a sense of excitement and promise as we discover that these same changes also open new possibilities. Like the jujutsu practitioner who meets a potentially overwhelming and disabling force with a confident and life-affirming posture, learning professionals of the 21st Century need to develop similarly sound and effective postures toward change. One such posture is “user research and design.” This revolutionary approach is helping leaders in non-profits, government and business to create “out of the box” solutions. You will leave this session with some practical tools for using the approach in your own life and for inviting others in their setting to develop these skills.

NOTE:  This is a 3-Hour session that takes place in two parts. Part One is Friday, Oct 25, 11 am - 12:30 pm, Waterview D Lobby Level and Part Two is Saturday, Oct 26, 4 - 5:30 pm in Waterview D Lobby Level

Embedding Education:  Overcoming Implementation Challenges While Maintaining Effectiveness

Julie Lee, Senior Technical Advisor, Financial Education
Microfinance Opportunities

Maria Jaramillo, Program Manager, Financial Education
Microfinance Opportunities
Washington, DC, USA

Designing effective curricula is a challenge in itself, but implementation can often pose many more obstacles. Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) facilitates this session aimed at identifying challenges in implementing effective learning experiences and finding innovative and practical solutions to overcome them. Whether your constraint lies in financing, facilitator capacity, time available, access to learners, or all of the above, this session will allow you to learn about and help create strategies for working within these confines while still integrating learning principles and practices. Participants will also be able to share the challenges associated with their own education initiatives and leverage the knowledge and experience of other participants and facilitators to create possible solutions. (www.microfinanceopportunities.org)

Friday, Oct 25, 11 am - 12:30 pm, Helena Room Level 4 and Saturday, Oct 26, 9 am - 10:30am, James Room Level 4

Enhancing Training Methods & Approaches

Joseph Astrophel C. Ongkiko, Director
Center for Transformational Development
Asian School of Development and Cross-Cultural Studies
Marikina City, Philippines

Fun; kinesthetic; very practical; mentally challenging; highly competitive; builds teamwork; and exceedingly integrative of Dialogue Education principles – these are but a few of the common descriptions given by participants who go through this creative learning design. Definitely not for the faint of heart! You will work in teams, walk into a maze in search of Training Methods, and share your thoughts on how to enhance them to improve learning. The experience will stretch your minds as you assess these training methods and give suggestions using the lens of Dialogue Education. More importantly, you will go through a communal learning process – sharing, deliberating, making decisions and developing ownership – where learning and possibility for change is heightened. You will continue to remember this experience with fondness and perhaps adapt this approach to your own context. Your collective output in this session will be a good reference for any teacher who desires to increase learning and yet feels “caged” by a particular training method.

One 3-hour session on Saturday, Oct 26, 2 - 5:30 pm, Galena Room Level 4

Envisioning Learning:  Visuals and Dialogue Education

Dwayne Hodgson, Partner
Global Learning Partners, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

A picture is worth a thousand words. Compelling visuals in a workshop? Priceless.

We live in a world saturated with images: websites, newspapers, billboards, photos, Instagram, PowerPoint slides, data visualizations, YouTube… and as adult educators applying the principles and practices of Dialogue Education, we have long made ample use of flip charts, graphic organizers and, of course, post-it notes to present and gather ideas. But what other tools are out there? How can we speak to a generation of new adult learners who are increasingly adept with social and digital media, as well as learners who may not have traditional literacy skills? This 3-hour session will explore ways to harness the power of visuals to enhance all stages of the learning process (i.e. LNRA, design, facilitation, and evaluation) and all stages of the 4A learning cycle: anchor, add, apply and away. We’ll experience and experiment with a range of tools from the fields of visual literacy, graphic design, data visualization, photography, Social Analysis Systems, and online social media and see how we can envision the principles and practices of Dialogue Education and provide new insights for everyone.

One 3-hour session on Saturday, Oct 26, 9 am - 12:30 pm, Iron Room Level 4

The Getting Ahead™ Program:  Finding Money by Spending Less

Jennifer Velasquez, Financial Advisor, and Yuly Rodriguez, Program Manager, Financial Advisor & Outreach
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
New York, New York, USA

This session is part of a comprehensive workshop series that guides participants through five steps to Getting Ahead financially. It is an experiential session, meaning that you will experience the actual financial workshop, which has been designed using a Dialogue Education approach. Learn about your finances while simultaneously experiencing and observing how the session was designed and is taught. This session provides information on what a budget is and how to use it, tips to spend less, and financial products that can help us to budget, save, and achieve our financial goals. The participants will reflect on their experiences in managing money and building savings, analyze their daily and household spending, and prepare themselves for the challenges of changing their financial behavior. Using a case study, participants will analyze an example budget and critique spending choices of a woman named Emma. In addition, participants will create a household budget- a major component in their Financial Action Plan™, and make a commitment to a short-term action item - what we call Take Action Today! Experience Dialogue Education in action.

Friday, Oct 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, Helena Room Level 4

The Good Shepherd as Dialogue Educator:  How Jesus Models the Principles of DE

Dan Haase, Instructor and Internship Coordinator
Christian Formation & Ministry
Wheaton College

Jim Wilhoit, Scripture Press Professor of Christian Education
Wheaton College
Wheaton, Illinois, USA

Jesus is often portrayed as a master teacher. Often such assessments look at his skillful rhetoric, his use of vivid images and aphorisms, and his memorable summary statements. While it is true that Jesus is portrayed in the gospels as a remarkable conversationalist, we think he has much to teach us about genuine respectful dialogue education. Regardless of one’s faith perspective, Jesus models a learning-centered approach to teaching. Learners will leave the session with an understanding of the principles of Dialogue Education as they are seen in the life and teaching of Jesus. Learners will be invited to practice these principles in their work as they teach for life change and transformational learning.

Friday, Oct 25, 4 - 5:30 pm, Helena Room Level 4

Learning as Organizational Culture

Bert Troughton, Vice President, Community Outreach
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
New Gloucester, Maine, USA

While most agree that people are an organization’s most valuable asset, far too often our organizational structures and norms minimize or even squelch the potential that individuals bring to their work. Learning is always taking place at an individual and at a group level in organizations. When organizations work to capture and use that learning, they can truly become greater than the sum of their parts, and the “parts,” i.e., the people within those organizations, will thrive. In this workshop, we’ll examine the individual and group learning cycles, and determine how Dialogue Education – and specifically the six core principles of respect, relevance, immediacy, safety, engagement and inclusion – can be used strategically to encourage and support a continual process of making meaning at both the individual and group level.

One 3-hour session on Saturday, Oct 26, 9 am - 12:30 pm, Galena Room Level 4

Solo Flights of Thought:  The Power of Introversion in a World of Learning

Valerie Uccellani, Senior Partner, Global Learning Partners, Inc.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Jeanette Romkema, Senior Partner, Global Learning Partners, Inc.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In what ways do we encourage – even praise and reward – extraverts?

How often do we miss out on what introverts have to offer by embracing the “extravert ideal”?

How can we create opportunities for us to learn and enjoy the best of each other?

A recent powerhouse book by Susan Cain – Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – has got us thinking deeply about these questions. This session will explore a number of provocative insights into the meaning behind “extraversion” and “introversion.”  Together, we will watch this inspiring presentation (and spend some time in solo contemplation as well as in active dialogue about it!):  http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html.

Throughout the session we will raise awareness of our own preferences and those of others with whom we live and work. We will discover ways to protect our own needs, as learners.  We will reflect on the many ways that we, as teachers, may inadvertently encourage extraverts, while missing out on the creativity and contributions of introverts around us. We will “train our eyes” to see how learning designs often contribute to group think, and – in so doing – steal opportunities for learners of all types to expand their horizons through solo flights of thought.

NOTE: This is a 3-Hour session that takes place in two parts. Part One is Friday, Oct 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, James Room Level 4 and Part Two is Saturday, Oct 26, 4 - 5:30 pm, Waterview D Lobby Level

Transformative Learning through Intercultural Dialogue

Rhonda M. McEwen, Associate Professor
Biola University
La Mirada, California, USA

This interactive session builds on participant experience and discusses factors that help to facilitate effective intercultural dialogue in a learning context. It examines essential adult learning principles and applies these to intercultural learning contexts, with consideration as to how these principles might facilitate transformative learning.

Friday, Oct 25, 11 am - 12:30 pm, Galena Room Level 4 and Friday, Oct 25, 4 - 5:30 pm, Waterview D Lobby Level

Transforming a Curriculum from Monologue to Dialogue

Valerie Stetson, Independent Consultant
University Park, Maryland, USA

In many West and Central African countries, knowledge of evidence-based approaches to promote social and behavior change is uneven. District-based communication officers, while very experienced, often use an ineffective information, education and communication approach favoring message-delivery and “t-shirts and jingles.” UNICEF specialists in the West and Central Africa Regional Office developed an introductory Communication for Development (C4D) training package to address these issues. The training package content on C4D was solid, but included too much information, too many PowerPoints, and too few open questions to valorize learners’ experiences. The curriculum relied on lectures and then “a little exercise to see if they got it.” Facilitator Valerie Stetson was tasked to shape content into sequenced tasks with open questions to promote dialogue and critical thinking. This session will explore how the training was reworked in a way that challenged, and also respectfully engaged, the UNICEF staff and consultants who developed the original package. In this session, you will share insights on how to work with technical specialists to transform training from monologue to dialogue.

Friday, Oct 25, 11 am - 12:30 pm, Iron Room Level 4 and Saturday, Oct 26, 11 am - 12:30 pm James Room Level 4

Transforming a Multi-Cultural Workplace into a Learning Organization

Ana Fremont
Tremblant Living, Inc.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This session aims to provide a framework for you to reflect on your experiences as participants in a multicultural work environment, analyze how cultural differences can promote or hinder learning within an organization, identify key strategies to create an environment for open dialogue, develop skills for effective problem-solving, and support workplace learning that ultimately translates into successful organizational outcomes. Using a self-assessment learning tool, (a Myers Briggs type or a learning style inventory questionnaire) you will determine the type of situations and environments where you are more capable of expanding what you know. You will identify and describe the basic elements of a learning organization. Through a cross-cultural simulation activity, the group will be divided into subgroups that will be given different sets of rules to role-play, then have to work-out ways to communicate and solve tasks using their assigned cultural experiences. In the end, you will recommend steps for an organization to develop meaningful learning plans to achieve both organizational and personal goals.

One 3-hour session on Friday, Oct 25, 2 - 5:30 pm, Galena Room Level 4

Your Self as an Instrument of Change

Christine Little, Partner
Global Learning Partners, Inc.
San Jose, Costa Rica

Peter Perkins, Senior Partner
Global Learning Partners, Inc.
Calais, Vermont, USA

During this session, you will take a deep, and appreciative look at the most powerful tool you bring to your work as an agent of change:  yourself. What are the unique gifts you bring to this work? In what context are your gifts most powerfully used? What is the future you are working to create? To facilitate deep sustainable change – individual, community, organizational – change agents must see themselves as the primary instrument that they use in their work. By deepening their understanding and appreciation of themselves,  they are better prepared to lead others along the journey, from compliance to commitment, from problems to possibilities, from “consumers” of services to creators of an alternative future.

One 3-hour session on Saturday, Oct 26, 4 - 5:30 pm, Iron Room Level 4



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