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ERIC Number: EJ952241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1394
Study Circles and the Dialogue to Change Program
Brennan, Mary; Brophy, Mark
Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v50 n2 p411-418 Jul 2010
The origins of study circles can be traced back to the Chautauqua movement in the USA in the late nineteenth century. However, interest diminished in the USA and the Swedes discovered and enthusiastically imported the study circle idea as a remedy to their problems of poverty and illiteracy and to educate the broadest possible spectrum of society in the art of democracy. Over the next 100 years, Sweden developed the process to such an extent that the Government now subsidises this form of education and uses it not only to educate people about government policies, but to receive feedback from the public. Today, over three million people participate annually in 350,000 study circles in Sweden. In recent decades, the use of study circles has spread throughout the world from the United States to Bangladesh--and now Australia. In Australia the sporadic experience and understanding of this unique method has not been pooled. Many different iterations and adaptations have been used over time. Australia now needs to build a systemic capability to make use of such a powerful program. The significant study circle activity in Australia's past demonstrates, and is testimony to, the need to bring together in an organised manner the experiences of the current and past study circle activity. A Dialogue to Change Program is a type of community dialogue process that can help people explore complex issues, make some decisions and begin to take action. At the heart of the Program are study circles, where people come together to have deliberative dialogue on an issue. A Dialogue to Change Program is a community-driven process that recruits from all community sectors. The authors discuss the process of organising a Dialogue to Change Program.
Adult Learning Australia. Level 1, 32 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2603, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6274-9515; Fax: +61-02-6274-9513; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Sweden; United States