JANE VELLA Becca Dawson CAE 213 Intro to Adult Ed. April 9, 2012
Jane Vella: Early Life • Born in 1931 in New York City • Daughter of Italian Immigrants • Raised Catholic • Became a Maryknoll sister in 1950 • The “globetrotting nuns”
Maryknoll Sisters • Originally known as the “Foreign Missions Sisters of St. Dominic” • A group of nuns dedicated to service overseas • Today, has about 500 members serving in medicine, communications, education, agriculture, social services, and spiritual formation • Currently in 25 countries around the world.
Jane Vella’s Work as a Maryknoll Sister • 1956: Vella goes to Tanzania • Teaches there for the next 21 years • These are her “formative years” in education • 1968 -1973: taught at the Institute of Education at the University of Dar es Salaam
In Tanzania, she learned: Adult learning and teaching is… • • • Political – has power Problem-posing – evokes responses Part of a whole – must have follow-up Participative – everyone has a chance Person-centered – develop all involved Prepared – designed for a particular group, using Seven Steps of Design: Who, why, when, where, what for, how
Returning to the United States • 1977: Vella returns to the United States from Tanzania • Earns Doctorate in Adult Ed from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst • Researched Community Education for Development • Taught at North Carolina State University in Raleigh • 1981: Begins working at Jubilee Popular Education Center
Dialogue Education • Used her experience and a study of formal and participatory education to create a series of training courses. • Came up with Dialogue Education • Began offering these training courses to produce “master teachers” • In 1998 Jubilee Popular Education Center became Global Learning Partners
What is Dialogue Education? “Too often in meetings, classrooms, and workshops, the main voice we hear is that of the trainer, teacher, or expert. ” “Most people who work with adult learners know that the best way to generate energy is to invite discussion and participation. ” “Dialogue Education [is] a middle ground where participation creates engagement and learning that is accountable to everyone’s needs. ”
Main Principles of Dialogue Education 1. Dialogue. Any adult has enough experience to converse with any teacher on any subject. Learners learn best when content relates to their experience. 2. Learners as subjects or decision makers. “Don’t ever do what the learner can do. Don’t ever decide what the learner can decide. ” (Vella, 2002) 3. Achievement-based objectives. Described using action verbs based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. 4. Learning Tasks. Open Questions with no “right” answers, so as to invite learners to interact with the content.
“Jane Vella was not the first person to identify these principles – Freire, Knowles, and others wrote about them decades ago and many of us have tried to incorporate them into our own teaching – but we believe that Jane’s unique contribution has been to synthesize these ideas into a framework of practices that can help an instructor translate these ideas into action and results. ”
12 Principles for Effective Adult Learning (According to Jane Vella) • Needs assessment • Safety of environment • Sound learner-teacher/learner-learner relationships • Content sequence • Praxis • Respect for learners as decision makers • Ideas, feelings, and actions – cognitive, affective, and psychomotor aspects of learning • Immediacy of the learning • Clear roles, clear development • Teamwork and use of small groups • Engagement of learners in their learning • Accountability
Jane Vella Today • • Retired 79 years old Has a cocker spaniel named Dandy Enjoys playing piano Loves to kayak (on quiet lakes!) Enthusiastic opera fan Publishes bi-monthly articles on education, music, friendship, and life in a journal on her website, www. globalearning. com.
Her favorite authors include: Yeats T. S. Eliot Matthew Mark Luke John Carl Jung Agatha Christie Margaret Wheatley She has written: 1995 – Training Through Dialogue: Promoting Effective Learning and Change with Adults 1997 – How Do They Know? Evaluating Adult Learning 2000 – Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults 2002 – Learning to Listen – Learning to Teach: the Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults 2004 – Dialogue Education at Work: Case Studies 2007 – On Teaching and Learning: Putting the Principles and Practices of Dialogue Education into Action
In Summary: Her contributions: • Gave us Dialogue learning, which seeks to reconcile pedagogy andragogy by using strengths of both • Dialogue Education also seeks to actively involve the learner in all aspects of learning while not pushing full responsibility on learner • Dialogue education is a more holistic approach to adult education • It seeks to reconcile several approaches to teaching to produce a unified yet eclectic style • It showcases importance of learner participation in learning process without making facilitator’s presence irrelevant – ALL share in learning process equally
Resources • http: //www. globalearning. com/dialogue-education. htm • http: //www. globalearning. com/janevellaprofile. htm • http: //www. scribd. com/doc/31317521/Twelve-principles-for-effective. Adult-Learning-Jane-Vella • http: //www. globalearning. com/resources. htm • http: //www. nwlink. com/~donclark/hrd/bloom. html • http: //www. globalearning. com/jane-vella. htm • http: //participactioninc. com/downloads/drysubject. pdf • http: //www. maryknollsisters. org/catholic-mission/