About Facilitated Dialogue

Facilitated dialogue is a method of teaching that involves active participation by both the instructor and participant. It is a key technique in the process of learner-centered education. 

Facilitated dialogue:

  • Recognizes that learners are "experts" in their own lives
  • Involves sharing and comparing experiences from members of the group
  • Is built upon active participation of the leader and group members
  • Creates a safe environment for learners to consider changing behaviors

The goal of facilitated dialogue is to create a safe environment for learners to consider changing behaviors:

Facilitated Dialogue Is…

Facilitated Dialogue is Not…

A teaching style that involves participants by combining the delivery of new information with opportunities for learners to do something with it.

… just lecture with activities. It can be focused on what learners want to learn, while also being directed and contained.

A method that involves sharing and comparing knowledge and experiences from members of the group.

…a teaching method that requires participants to talk.

Used to recognize that learners are 'experts' in their own lives - facilitators help guide the conversation to simulate learners’ interests.

…a conversation entirely determined by what the learners feel like talking about on any given day.

 

Now, reflect on your own learning:

Take a moment to reflect on a previous learning experience and what made it positive or negative.

  • Did you ever find yourself sitting in a classroom and feeling like the instructor was talking AT the class the whole time, instead of involving participants or checking in to ensure everyone was following along and engaged? How could that experience have been improved?
  • Can you remember a time when you learned something and made use of that new skill soon after? What helped you to use what you learned?
  • Have you ever observed someone performing an activity, but then you had a hard time trying to do it on your own afterward? Why did you find it difficult?

Most adults learn best when they are engaged in dialogue and have an opportunity to practice.  A “learner,” or typical Cooking Matters participant retains:

  • 10% of what is read
  • 20% of what is heard
  • 30% of what is seen
  • 50% of what is seen and heard
  • 70% of what is said as they talk
  • 90% of what is said as they do something 

 

What roles do learners and instructors take in facilitated dialogue? 

The volunteer instructor’s role is to facilitate meaningful conversation – not to do all the talking. Rather, instructors should help to guide the conversation so that learners are listening, sharing, and learning from one another. 

Take a few minutes to review these roles:

Instructor/Learner ROLES in Facilitated Dialogue

Instructors should…

Learners should…

  • Provide opportunities for learning
  • Really listen to learner
  • Give responsibility for change to learner
  • Guide conversation to stimulate learner’s awareness and interest
  • Create a motivating environment
  • Respect learner’s values, attitudes, and beliefs
  • Find something you like about each learner
  • Model reflective listening and interpersonal interactions
  • Accept learner for where s/he is without blame
  •  Participate in their education by actively listening and sharing when they want to
  • Share questions, concerns, and successes with educator and each other
  • Accept responsibility for changing behaviors
  • Participate in the dialogue; share with the educator and others
  • Respond to each others experience in a respectful manner
  • Find something they like about the educator and each other

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About Facilitated Dialogue

Facilitated dialogue is a method of teaching that involves active participation by both the instructor and participant. It is a key technique in the process of learner-centered education. 

Facilitated dialogue:

  • Recognizes that learners are "experts" in their own lives
  • Involves sharing and comparing experiences from members of the group
  • Is built upon active participation of the leader and group members
  • Creates a safe environment for learners to consider changing behaviors

The goal of facilitated dialogue is to create a safe environment for learners to consider changing behaviors:

Facilitated Dialogue Is…

Facilitated Dialogue is Not…

A teaching style that involves participants by combining the delivery of new information with opportunities for learners to do something with it.

… just lecture with activities. It can be focused on what learners want to learn, while also being directed and contained.

A method that involves sharing and comparing knowledge and experiences from members of the group.

…a teaching method that requires participants to talk.

Used to recognize that learners are 'experts' in their own lives - facilitators help guide the conversation to simulate learners’ interests.

…a conversation entirely determined by what the learners feel like talking about on any given day.

 

Now, reflect on your own learning:

Take a moment to reflect on a previous learning experience and what made it positive or negative.

  • Did you ever find yourself sitting in a classroom and feeling like the instructor was talking AT the class the whole time, instead of involving participants or checking in to ensure everyone was following along and engaged? How could that experience have been improved?
  • Can you remember a time when you learned something and made use of that new skill soon after? What helped you to use what you learned?
  • Have you ever observed someone performing an activity, but then you had a hard time trying to do it on your own afterward? Why did you find it difficult?

Most adults learn best when they are engaged in dialogue and have an opportunity to practice.  A “learner,” or typical Cooking Matters participant retains:

  • 10% of what is read
  • 20% of what is heard
  • 30% of what is seen
  • 50% of what is seen and heard
  • 70% of what is said as they talk
  • 90% of what is said as they do something 

 

What roles do learners and instructors take in facilitated dialogue? 

The volunteer instructor’s role is to facilitate meaningful conversation – not to do all the talking. Rather, instructors should help to guide the conversation so that learners are listening, sharing, and learning from one another. 

Take a few minutes to review these roles:

Instructor/Learner ROLES in Facilitated Dialogue

Instructors should…

Learners should…

  • Provide opportunities for learning
  • Really listen to learner
  • Give responsibility for change to learner
  • Guide conversation to stimulate learner’s awareness and interest
  • Create a motivating environment
  • Respect learner’s values, attitudes, and beliefs
  • Find something you like about each learner
  • Model reflective listening and interpersonal interactions
  • Accept learner for where s/he is without blame
  •  Participate in their education by actively listening and sharing when they want to
  • Share questions, concerns, and successes with educator and each other
  • Accept responsibility for changing behaviors
  • Participate in the dialogue; share with the educator and others
  • Respond to each others experience in a respectful manner
  • Find something they like about the educator and each other

Previous Topic

Next Topic

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