Welcome to, and hip-hip-hooray for the first, the one, and the only, Global Learning Partners, Inc. blog!!!! I am excited about this opportunity to reach out into the field of adult education and educators. As we all know, I will learn lots in the work to prepare, write, read and be responsive to your input and feedback. Welcome. We have our work cut out for us, for the questions we will ask and consider here have been asked for centuries. To kick off “Speaking of Dialogue” I thought we’d take on the other age-old problem: describing Dialogue Education. I have had the hardest time over the years trying to briefly say what Dialogue Education is. So, are you game to try this on? One of the clients I am working with is training volunteers who will in turn work with people in their neighborhood in gardening and environmental advocacy projects. Volunteers will participate in weekly sessions for eight weeks, with homework and fieldwork in between sessions. Here is the first version of a quasi-mnemonic created to “explain” the approach used in the eight-week training (Dialogue Education):

In this project, the RANGE of experience, and skills, knowledge and attitudes are drawn upon so we can be RESOURCES to and for each other, here and in the field. We RESPECT each other and what we bring to the table by RATCHETING up the learning every time, all the time. We REINFORCE learning during each session and back in the neighborhood. A learning task RESEMBLES the reality of the field, so it is REPEATABLE back in your neighborhoods.

Of course, this phrasing has been and will be adapted by the people who will actually be engaged in the project. What creative or concise approaches have you used to describe Dialogue Education, or any other approach to adult learning, for that matter?

By Darlene Goetzman