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How to Start a Franklin Circle Adult Self Directed Learning Group
Benjamin Franklin formed the first circle, what Franklin called the Junto, in 1727 with a group of what he called his "more ingenious acquaintances."Training Magazinein June 1981 cited that first Franklin Circle as the embodiment of what we now know are the best techniques of modern self-directed learning. The magazine then revisited the idea in their June 1995 issue. What may have been Ben's best invention is grounded in the most basic principle of adult learning theory: Adults learn best by being teachers.
Business owners and entrepreneurs use the format to form peer advisory groups, an alternative board of advisers that helps each member take their own business to the next level.
Find one or two like-minded learners.You want to reach out to people who are interested in learning about the same things. One way to do this is to start (or attend) a Meetup.com group.(See links below.)
Decide the details of your meetings.You'll need to consider when and where you want to meet, how often you want to meet, and how you will conduct your meetings.
Plan a structure for the meetings.Franklin's original group had two parts to each meeting:
- Members take turns making presentation to the group.
- Members address Standing Queries. (See Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography for information about the format and Standing Queries used by Franklin's original group, what he called the Junto.)
Invite new people to attend each meeting.Your goal is to have 12 people who are mutually acceptable to each other.
QuestionHow many Franklin Circles are there now?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNew ones are always starting, but they don't always call themselves a Franklin Circle. As such, it's impossible to have an exact count. There is always a need for one more, so don't be afraid to start one!Thanks!
- *One person needs to take responsibility for leading the group, or it will not come together. Let it be you! Or support the person who has taken the job on.
- The organizer also needs to contact each person in the group to remind them to attend prior to each meeting, this makes a big difference.
- The organizer needs to get to each meeting a few minutes early to set up the room and to greet the members as they arrive.
Things You'll Need
*Training Magazine, "What We Know for Sure About Adult Learning," June, 1995. See
Malcolm Knowles, Self-Directed Learning--A Guide for Learners & Teachers, Josey-Bass, 1975.
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, Yale University Press, 1964.
Ronald K. Esplin, MA Thesis, Franklin's Colleagues and Their Club: the Junto in Philadelphia's Golden Age. University of Virginia, 1979.
Inc. Magazine article on CEO Peer Advisory groups says 75% of the success of a group depends on the facilitator.
Sources and Citations
- Information about Franklin's original Junto
- Meetups are starting around the country on nearly every topic, a great way to find like-minded learners for your Franklin Circle.
- Join a Go+ Group, a 3 person online group designed to help you start your business, project or new career using the Franklin Circle principles.
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