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

The Jane Vella Dialogue Education Award

Global Learning Partners is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Jane Vella Dialogue Education Award!

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Christelle L. Estrada, winner of the 2013 individual award, and Habitat for Humanity International, Latin America and Caribbean Area Office, winner of the 2013 organizational award!

The quality of all the applications was outstanding, and the selection decision was extremely difficult. Ultimately the selection committee chose to bestow these two awards instead of one, since as we were reviewing the applications it was clear that the work of each differs enough in scope and context that comparing one to the other was not appropriate. The winner in each category received the award and $1000.00.

Individual Winner

Christelle L. Estrada, PhD

English Language Arts Specialist, Utah State Office of Education

President and Chief Executive Officer, EON – Education Opportunity Now

The State of Utah’s teachers and students must be mighty glad that Christelle Estrada has been working with them! Over the past three years, in her role at the Utah State Office of Education (USOE), Christelle has transformed the way learning happens in Utah.

“I have not just been totally committed to the principles and practices of Dialogue Education,” Christelle said, “but have integrated it into every aspect of my work and life. Dialogue Education has been the single most influential experience in both my career of 40 years in education and in my life.”

Here are just a few highlights of the ways in which Christelle has used DE in her work:


The Organization Winner

Habitat for Humanity International, Latin America & Caribbean Area Office

Habitat for Humanity is an organization perfectly aligned with the principles and practices of Dialogue Education, and the Latin America and Caribbean Area Office has embraced this alignment and changed countless lives for the better as a result.

Habitat for Humanity believes that no one lives in dignity until everyone can live in dignity. When the broad community is engaged in addressing the urgent need for adequate, affordable shelter, we all become less vulnerable and more resilient. In bringing people together, Habitat practices a philosophy of “a hand up, not a handout,” and builds on existing community assets:  financial, physical, natural, human, social and spiritual.

This video demonstrates Habitat's commitment to using the principles and practices of Dialogue Education in their Financial Education program - see their staff and learners in action!

Habitat for Humanity has a large network in Latin America and the Caribbean (HPH-LAC), with presence in 16 countries, which makes learning – across cultural differences and languages – an important challenge. In 2001, HPH-LAC’s training center began using the Dialogue Education (DE) approach as a simple and systematic way to put into practice the concepts of popular education that is indigenous to Latin America.

“We believed in the Dialogue Education approach, and were pleased about how it transformed our work in learning. Incorporating DE into our training and capacity building approach was just the beginning!”

Three initiatives in particular that were deeply influenced by DE have had a profound impact on the lives the individuals participating in them:

  • Financial Education (2005-present) – extensive training of trainers and capacity building program in 15 countries to improve individual families’ financial competence
  • Home Improvement and Constructive Technical Assistance (2008-present) – A new curriculum on home improvement and technical assistance was developed to link more effectively the capacities in financial education with the home improvement process that families follow.
  • Microfinance (2009-present) – The Financial Education and Home Improvement & Constructive Technical Assistance training programs have been shared with 15 microfinance organizations in the region, and similar organizations in Asia are developing these programs in their own context.

This is just a tiny sample of the impressive work that Habitat has done. Congratulations to everyone who works at Habitat for Humanity International, Latin America and Caribbean Area Office!


About the Award


The Jane Vella Dialogue Education Award has been endowed through a generous gift from Jane Vella herself, and through the generous support of Jossey-Bass, publisher of all of Jane Vella’s books. Thanks to these founding contributors, the award includes a $1,000 grant and a commemorative plaque.


In order to celebrate successful practitioners of Dialogue Education and encourage efforts to revolutionize learning, build peace and transform our world, Global Learning Partners, Inc. (GLP) is proud to announce the institution of the Jane Vella Dialogue Education Award. This biennial award – named in honor of Dr. Jane Vella, founder of Dialogue Education – is presented to Dialogue Education practitioners who demonstrate outstanding Dialogue Education practice and exceptional potential for furthering the influence of Dialogue Education learning. The award embodies Jane Vella’s understanding of this educational method, best espoused in her statement:

The means is dialogue, the end is learning, and the purpose is peace.

About Jane Vella

Jane Vella, the founder of Global Learning Partners and creator of Dialogue Education, gained her insights on adult education from the thousands of participants she met over her forty years of teaching in Africa, Asia and North America. Jane's academic research into the work of theorists Paulo Freire, Malcolm Knowles, Kurt Lewin, and Benjamin Bloom confirmed what she saw in the communities where she had worked:  that adults learn best through a "dialogue" that takes place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and safety, and with learning designs that are grounded in the reality of their lives. Jane's teaching and work have inspired generations of people who have embraced the transformative power of learning through dialogue; this award is named to honor and celebrate her work as it is furthered by those who practice Dialogue Education.

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