News Learner-Centered Education—How Adults Learn Best!

  • Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
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Creating and facilitating responsive, engaging learning events is the best way to engage adult learners.  In August, members of the Learning and Development Department along with other learning champions from each Area and Central Office had the opportunity to participate in a course in Dialogue Education, an evidence-based approach to learning that builds on the learners’ expertise while increasing the retention of new knowledge through relevance and practice. Here is how one of the participants described the shift in philosophy:

“Dialogue Education opened my eyes to the truth that learning happens within, between, and among those participating in the learning event.  I’ve been to trainings where the facilitator and the content in the PowerPoint was the center of the learning experience, with no opportunity to put the new concepts into practice in their daily work.

“The practice involves participants in the design and dynamics of the learning event.  Facilitator and participants enter into a dialogue about theories and methods and then work together, creating pathways that lead to implementation within their work environment.  Dialogue Education is transformative.  By welcoming, respecting and affirming the collective knowledge and wisdom of the participants, we empower the participants with the skills and motivation to transfer principles into practice.”      

Bob Rousseau, MB Director of Recovery and Area Human Rights Coordinator


We are excited to use our newly acquired skills and we invite your feedback as we work to facilitate more meaningful learning opportunities across the agency.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health 

The Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages; enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities.