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

Tuesdays with Jane: Week #16

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(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 15 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Accountability:  Knowing How They Know They Know

Chapter Fifteen is the story of a tough situation in Bangladesh at the Diarrheal Disease Hospital. It was an almost impossible situation:  trying to teach busy physicians a new way of teaching in a ridiculously short period of time. Everything seemed to preclude any accountability!

 Some great lines from Chapter Fifteen:

  • “[The doctors] gave their time to this educational program because they knew their present paradigm was not working.” p214
  • “I had come to teach and knew I would stay to learn.” p215
  • “If [the doctors] wanted esoteric language and studied complexity, they had the wrong teacher.” p219
  • “[The doctors] themselves asked for more hours each day. This itself was an indicator of learning.” p222
  • “…there are three things that make accountable learning happen: time, time and time.” p222

A LEARNING TASK

Speculate. What do you think happened to those twelve doctors without any system for reinforcing and supporting their learning? 

What is your opinion of my statement on page 222: “Today I am convinced that single events such as this course in Bangladesh are somewhat futile.”

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Tuesdays with Jane: Week #15

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(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 14 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Engagement:  Learning Actively

Hospice has long been one of my favorite organizations. This chapter shows the remarkable, inclusive engagement of staff at a large hospice as they made a necessary new strategic plan.

I noticed that the question So What on page 210 has become the new eighth step of the Design Steps: naming indicators of learning, transfer and impact: So That!

I like the review of the quantum principles on page 211—inviting readers to relate these to engagement.

Some great lines from Chapter Fourteen:

  • “[The Hospice Director] was determined to make the planning process inclusive by engaging as many staff and board and community members as possible.” p204
  • “The distinction [between a consultative voice (suggestions) and a deliberative voice (decisions)] clarifies each person’s role and invites creative thinking.” p205
  • “The design, and our relentless implementation of it, demanded intense engagement.” p210

A LEARNING TASK

Bryson’s text on strategic planning provides a useful framework. What one thing did you see us do in this chapter to make that framework work towards inclusive dialogue?

How have you used dialogue in your designing and teaching your particular content?  What one thing do you do to engage all learners as fully as possible?

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Tuesdays with Jane: Week #14

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(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 13 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Teamwork:  Celebrating Learning Together

This chapter celebrates the transformation of young, war-scarred soldiers into laughing, joyful teachers of literacy to their adult compatriots. Reading it again brought back to me the awe I felt as I faced these young men and women, newcomers to civilian life, hungry for meaningful work and for a paying job, ready to learn!

When they all broke spontaneously into The Soldiers’ Song (page 198) I was not the only one with tears in my eyes. They had learned teamwork in the life and death environment of their war years; now teamwork would serve them as they became peacemakers through the living words they taught. 

I remembered thinking that “Tainie” Mudondo was in fact, a giant of a woman.

Some great lines from Chapter Thirteen:

  • “…’The observer is part of what she observes.’” p193
  • “I called on my newfound awareness of my role as a consultant with a consultative voice and discovered the joy of detachment.” p194
  • “A lesson from all this is the need for a team to form its own consensus over time and  become a unit with an integrated focus.” p196
  • “The heart of the matter lay in the meaning and potential of the dialogue that would have to occur among team members and between literacy coordinators and the adult student.” p197
  • “The people of Zimbabwe did not simply need to learn to read and write; they needed to learn to work together as members of village and community teams to create their new nation.” p199

A LEARNING TASK

In light of what you now know, name one thing we could have done to create a structure for continuing education and training of the community literacy coordinators. 

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Tuesdays with Jane: Week #13

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(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 12 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Assuming New Roles for Dialogue:  Embracing the Death of the Professor

I remember being deeply intimidated by these two short workshops done at Maryknoll’s School of Theology in upstate New York. These men and women were top flight professors. When I heard that Richard Schaull from Princeton was coming, my knees buckled. Dr. Schaull had been invited by Paulo Freire to write the foreword to Freire’s classic Pedagogy of the Oppressed!

This short chapter captures some of the hard work done by these professors to change their deeply engrained practices and their perception of their role. 

Some great lines from Chapter Twelve:

  • “Modeling an approach to learning means being true to it in all circumstances.” p180
  • “We teach the way we have been taught.” p181
  • “[The professors] all remarked on the obvious need in this approach for preparation time, not only for researching content but also for designing learning tasks.” p186
  • “[The professors] do not have to die when the student ‘names the death of the professor.’  They have to do something more difficult. They have to live and learn.” p185-6
  • “…participation does not exclude personal responsibility.” p188

A LEARNING TASK

What one thing did you see these professors do in this chapter that you can do, and perhaps do today in your designing and teaching?

Why do you think I agreed to such a short (three day) workshop with the professors?

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Tuesdays with Jane: Week #12

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(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 11 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Immediacy: Teaching What Is Really Useful to Learners

Reading this chapter brought deep emotions:  some trembling fear welled up from the bone-deep memories of that experience, the joy of dancing in the classroom, and the love of those brave folks who worked in war torn villages. I remembered with tears the respect I felt for the American staff and the Salvadorians who worked with them and with village folk. It was an honor to be with them for that short time. I learned so much from David and Maria and Carlos!

Few situations evidence immediacy as well as this one.

Some great lines from Chapter Eleven:

  • "Since these folks and the people they served were in a daily life-and-death situation, everything we did in the six-day workshop must meet real needs.” p162
  • “I asked that we first design our designing.” p163
  • “This dialogue approach is a structured partnership for listening and learning, with clearly delineated roles.” p164
  • “Perhaps nowhere in the world of education is the power of the backseat driver felt as in adult learning.” p165
  • “…when a new person joins a group, it becomes a new group.” p168
  • “Since it was all occurring in Spanish, my linguistic disadvantage was actually a distinct cultural advantage.” p173
  • “In a quantum perspective, the context is definitive.” p174

A LEARNING TASK

What part of the story moved you most? What did you take from this chapter your own work?

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