Our Dialogue Education™ framework provides the perfect balance of structure and flexibility across sectors and cultures.
In this approach, the content is teacher-driven. Strategies may include active learning, but interactions are still mostly between teacher and learner.
A learning-centered approach acknowledges the expertise of the learners as well as the teacher. Teaching strategies invite interactions among all participants.
Centering Learning through Connection
Teaching that leads to transformative and lasting learning happens through intentional connections created in the learning event:
Connect with SELF. Learners need to hook new content into existing knowledge or experience. They need to compare it to what they already know and do and decide how it compares and if they like it. They need to imagine it in their lives.
Connect with OTHERS. Learners need to share their stories, experiences, thoughts and questions with other learners. It is through the pushing and pulling that learners can sometimes discover new meaning and understanding for themselves.
Connect with the CONTENT. Learners need time to examine the new content they are learning. They need to decide how they feel about it and how it compares to what they already know. If they are learning a skill, they need try it out.
The six core principles described below are a constant reference for us as we do our work.
We encourage our clients to continually revisit the question: How are we turning these principles into practice?
SAFETY. Learning experiences require honest exploration and room for people to raise questions, talk about hard lessons learned, and admit what they don’t know.
RESPECT. Ensuring that participants can exercise control and choice in their learning experience is just one way to create mutual respect and a path for learning.
INCLUSION. While participation is relatively easy to pull off, inclusion requires something more, the ability not just to speak, but to be understood.
RELEVANCE. Adults will find it worth the struggle to learn from others when learning focuses on issues and skills that matter in their own work or life.
IMMEDIACY. Building immediate application into all learning opportunities helps learning lasts when adults immediately apply what they are learning.
ENGAGEMENT. Adults learn best when they are actively involved in the process of learning alone and with others. Learning is in the doing and deciding.
A well-designed learning initiative can contribute to huge impact, such as more newborns saved in Bangladesh; more animals adopted in New York; more community members seeking financial services; more homes weatherized in Vermont; more women employed in Ethiopia. However, impact can’t happen without transfer, and transfer can’t happen without learning. We work hard to maximize learning, to ensure the possibility of real change in real lives.
We recognize the complexity of change. Indeed, there are a multitude of factors – beyond a learning initiative – that will enhance or inhibit impact. Although some of these factors are out of our control, there is a lot we can do. Being impact-focused means we design with the end in mind, and use a learning-centered approach to maximize the possibility of getting there.