Accessibility of knowledge, social cohesion, inclusion and (critical) adaptation to changes are also in the public interest, which is why free participation under the guidance of a trained mentor is partially financed by the government, which also connects and monitors the study circles, offers trainings and implements projects to spread the results of the study circles to other countries.
The objectives and the aim of the study circles change with time. At the beginning, in 1993, their role was to expand the range of learning activities for adults and democratise the society. However, after a decade or so, their main purpose became wider availability of learning, motivation of mostly uninterested adults for learning and inclusion of vulnerable groups into the society (development).
The study circles are small groups for non-formal learning, which are very important for local and personal development and have attracted people all across Slovenia since 1993. They are the perfect opportunity for active involvement for those who have difficulties accessing education but do not want to stay passive. Study circles are a form of collaborative learning (experiencing, summarising) with a typical group structure (heterogeneous structure, homogeneous interest) that fosters the development of positive co-dependency of responsible individuals and development of collaborative skills (learning to communicate, respect diversity and agreements). With some study circles, we can also talk about a secondary community.
The basic activities are:
- Basic training of study circle mentors;
- Improvement of study circles;
- Guidance of interested stakeholders and providers of study circles;
- Monitoring (since 1993; in e-format since 2007);
- Quality assurance (internal and external evaluations);
- Development projects (Leonardo, Grundtvig, Alegro, Intereg, Erasmus +, KA2);
- Promotion at home and abroad (LLW, e-Novičke newsletter, FB, EPALE, professional articles);
- Analyses and interpretations of structures and processes within the study circles.
- Continuous operation and trainings;
- High motivation of the participants for participation in the circles and high motivation of mentors for training;
- Quality of structures and processes (reaching very diverse target groups, including vulnerable groups; description of mentor and leader competences, description of educational programme, development and description of a cross-border educational programme);
- Professional and scientific articles on study circles (more than 600 publications on study circle in the COBISS library system);
- International activities (field activities in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, bibliography).
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