– Dr. Jane Vella

Global Learning Partners was founded in the work of Jane Vella and the Jubilee Popular Education Center in 1981. From New York City to rural North Carolina, from Africa to South America, Jane tested and developed a proven set of principles and practices, which continue to guide us today. The principles and practices of Dialogue Education™ outlined then are the foundation of today’s GLP courses.

In 1996, Jubilee became Global Learning Partners, Inc. In 2000, as Jane was committed to research and retirement, Peter Noteboom assumed ownership of GLP.

Check out Our Team to see how we have evolved and expanded.




Jane Vella was born in 1931 and raised in New York City, a daughter of an Italian immigrant family. Drawn to a vocation in the Catholic Church, Jane became a Maryknoll Sister in 1950.


Jane went to Tanzania in 1956 and spent her formative years in education, teaching in various settings for the next 25 years. She taught at the Institute of Education at the University of Dar es Salaam from 1968 to 1973. Her teaching there brought her into contact with Sally Timmel and Ann Hope who developed the Training for Transformation program, Julius Nyerere, visionary and former President of Tanzania, and Paulo Freire, a legendary advocate for the democratization of learning in South America. Freire’s work has inspired adult educators around the world.


In 1977 Jane left Maryknoll and returned to the US. She took up a program of study at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she completed her doctorate in Adult Education, doing research entitled Community Education for Development. She began teaching at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.


Jane started the Jubilee Popular Education Center in 1981. As a training entrepreneur, Jane took the best of her experience and study of formal and participatory education and developed a series of training courses. The principles and practices of Dialogue Education™ outlined in her seminal book Learning to Listen Learning to Teach are the foundation of today’s GLP courses and work. Across the globe, individuals and organizations have experienced great value in learning her approach. Over time Jane trained others to teach her courses.


Today, Jane is an enthusiastic opera fan, avid reader and loves welcoming friends and guests to her home. Dialogue feeds her soul!

Jane continues to write, offering wisdom, observations and questions through personal reflections.

We invite you to enjoy the feast!




Learning to Listen Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults

Jane Vella | June 2002 | Jossey-Bass | ISBN 0-7879-5967-7

This landmark book uses engaging, personal stories in a variety of adult learning settings, in different countries and with different educational purposes, to show readers how to utilize the twelve principles in their own practice with any type of adult learner, anywhere. The GLP training, Foundations of Dialogue Education (link) is based on this book.

Read an Excerpt: Chapter One
Buy this Book: | |

On Teaching and Learning: Putting the Principles and Practices of Dialogue Education into Action

Jane Vella | November 2008 | Jossey-Bass | ISBN: 978-0-7879-8699-5

This book explores how Dialogue Education has been applied in educational settings around the world. On Teaching and Learning was nominated for the 2008 Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education.

Read an Excerpt: Chapter One
Buy this Book: | |

How do They Know They Know? Evaluating Adult Learning (with Paula Berardinelli and Jim Burrow)

Jane Vella, Paula Berardinelli, Jim Burrow | 1998 | Jossey-Bass | ISBN: 0-7879-1047-3

This book provides a practical process and approach to measuring training at a learning, transfer and impact level. It also provides practical tools for determining the effectiveness of learning that takes place in programs and learning initiatives.

Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults

Jane Vella | 2000 | Jossey-Bass | ISBN: 0-7879-5227-3

This book builds on her earlier work and shifts the spotlight from teaching tasks to learning tasks. She provides seven steps to planning learning-centered courses, four types of learning tasks, a checklist of principles and practices, critical questions for instructional design, key components for evaluation, and other invaluable tools.

Buy this Book: |

Dialogue Education at Work: Case Studies (with Associates)

Jane Vella and Associates | 2004 | Jossey-Bass | ISBN: 0-7879-6473-5

This book is a collection of 24 stories of dialogue education used in very diverse situations and settings around the world.

Read an Excerpt: Introduction
Buy this Book: |

Training Through Dialogue: Promoting Effective Learning and Change with Adults

Jane Vella | 1995 | Jossey-Bass | ISBN: 978-0-7879-0135-6

The precursor to Learning to Listen Learning to Teach, this book includes a lively, step-by-step approach to training the trainers of adults. This book invites instructors to critically examine their old teaching model and discover a new experience in education.


Listen to Simply True with Dr. Jane Vella


On this limited series podcast, GLP Founder Jane Vella is joined by friends and colleagues to explore the simple truths behind some of her favorite axioms about how adults learn. These veritable “fireside chats” feature rich dialogue, stories, and laughter.

Listen today on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or virtually anywhere you listen to podcasts. Transcripts for all
episodes are available on our podcasts page.

Simply True is produced by Global Learning Partners and Greg Tilton Jr, with theme music by Kyle Donald. Check out our sister series – Shift the Power: A Learning-Centered Podcast.