Drawing to Learn:  A Journey of Self Discovery

Through the great Dialogue Education class Designing Learning-Centered Training for Peacebuilding at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University, I realized the importance of art in my life. The opportunity to explore myself through the use of colored pens and the paper-covered tables that course instructors Jeanette Romkema* and Marshall Yoder provided was a […]

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Dialogue Education Essentials:  Safety

The system that is Dialogue Education demands safety. Learners must feel safe with the content, with the teacher, with the environment, with their colleagues. The designer/teacher must feel safe with her partners, with her design, with the group of learners, with the environment. Safety is not merely a nice aspect of the system:  it is […]

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Dialogue Education Essentials:  Laughter

Today begins a new series called Blogging Towards Baltimore. Why Baltimore? Because that's where we'll be learning together at the International Dialogue Education Institute, Oct 24-27, 2013. Each post will help to set the stage for the Institute.   Dialogue Education Essentials Lately, Dr. Jane Vella, founder of  Dialogue Education has been thinking a great deal […]

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What Good Are Warm Ups?

When I was in 9th grade I attended an encounter group weekend designed to get us teenagers more comfortable with ourselves. The first thing we did was a “warm-up” exercise so we could “get to know each other.” What did we do? We stood in a circle and passed an orange around the circle, not […]

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The Value of Design:  A Student and Instructor Reflect on Why It Matters

By Dan Haase and Kyle Tennant  Dan Haase, left, talks with his student, Kyle Tennant. “The design bears the burden.” This is one of our favorite axioms of Jane Vella’s. Our experience with this truth came through a college graduate course entitled “Teaching for Transformation.” Before the class began, we realized we had a major problem […]

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Manage Your Power in the World – Dialogue Education and Parenting?

Usually we’re talking about workshops or courses or change initiatives when we talk about Dialogue Education, and the fact is, for as much as Dialogue Education is about learning, its roots in Paulo Freire’s theories of “liberation education” mean it’s also about managing our power in the world. Will we make decisions based on fear […]

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Naming the Work:  Employing Verbs in Facilitation

I collect verbs. Until recently I assumed I was the only eccentric out there, engaged in doing so, but then I was introduced to Darlene Goetzman’s Voracious Verbs cards for facilitators. She, too, collects verbs. The verbs I collect come from resumés and strategic plans, well chosen in those contexts to convey strategic and/or innovative activity: achievements in […]

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