Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

CAPT Staff Refine Training Approach at Workshop on Dialogue Education™

Selected staff from SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) met last month to participate in a unique training experience designed to answer the question, "How do you effectively educate adults?"

On October 17-20, 16 staff from across the CAPT system met in Chicago to participate in "Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: An Introduction to Dialogue Education." Dialogue Education™ is a structured approach to adult education that balances delivery of new information with opportunities for hands-on involvement with the content to be learned. It is based on the premise that adults have rich life experience, and that learning is more likely to happen when it is tied to these experiences.

Throughout the four days, workshop participants explored the 12 principles of effective adult learning and key principles and practices of Dialogue Education™. Working in pairs, they then designed and delivered a brief training on a topic of their choice, informed by the principles and practices examined in the course. This opportunity enabled participants to immediately apply what they had learned and receive feedback from their peers.

According to T/TA Coordinator Valda Grinbergs, "the workshop helped me re-think my approach to designing trainings. Too often we, as trainers, forget that adults learn best through dialogue. This training provided the tools trainers need to create training designs that are both meaningful and relevant to the people we serve."

The workshop was offered by Global Learning Partners, Inc. For more information on Dialogue Education™, visit


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