Posted tagged ‘conversation’

Dialogue for Change

November 19, 2008

One of the big topics in education and learning is the concept of Dialogue Education. Jane Vella first proposed the concept in the early 80’s. It draws on a variety of adult learning theories and combines them into an integrated learning experience. The biggest difference is that teaching is typically done in a monologue format, this form is a dialogue. The dialogue focuses more on what the student does and less on what the teacher says.

The implications for this are staggering as we look at the current way in which most learning environments are designed. In the church setting there is a person talking (monologue) and a congregation listening. In the work world during a meeting, there is a person making a presentation (monologue) and a group listening. In most educational settings there is a teacher (monologue) and students listening.

Dialogue education is a form of Constructivism, in that it focuses on the argument that people construct knowledge and meaning from experiences, because of that, Dialogue Education can be a means for transformative learning. The big reason is that it gives ownership to the learner for his own learning.

I know that is lot to digest, but the implications in the church setting cannot be stressed enough. Because of this I’m beginning a series of Dialogues, called Dialogue4Change. At the onset we will discuss the theory and practice of Dialogue Education itself and what its meaning in our different environments:work, family, church.

If there are a majority of people in the Warner Robins area we will meet at Lifepoint Church approximately once a month. If the majority are from further places, I’ll do my best to facilitate an on-line discussion in the same time-frame.

To let me know if you are interested in becoming a part of this cutting edge discussion, email me at dialogue4change@gmail.com.  In the next few days I’ll be putting up a separate page that will go into more detail. This is going to be Great!

What Does Your Future Look Like?

November 12, 2008

This past week I was rereading some books that I had stacked up, one was Turning To One Another by Meg Wheatley. Great book about the value of simple conversations and being presnt in those conversations. What struck me was a quote by Paulo Freire which said,

 “What if we discover that our present way of life is irreconcilable with our vocation to become fully human?”

If you are like me, I don’t often find myself thinking about what it means to be fully human. You may be asking the same question, but for Paulo, the answer is that the vocation, or calling, to be fully human is given to us and therefore signifies that we are part of a larger place.

To become fully human means that we live an open life that is filled with generosity. We become more human each time we make the decision to reach out instead of withdrawing into our personal sufferings and experiences.

We can only become fully human when we extend ourselves. When we create a world of secrecy and whispers around us, we lose life rather than gain life. When we chose to become aloof and non-communicative we allow our ego to reign and prevent our own growth. When we close ourselves off from those around us, we may pretend that we are doing it for our own good. The truth is that we lack the courage to engage real dialogue – conversations where I speak and then become silent and listen. Speeches do not give; they are not generous. Listening and opening ourselves up to one another are acts of generosity. These are the actions that lead to our becoming fully human and going from a human doing to a human being.