Principles, goals and aims
The fundamental principles of study circles mainly refer to the way of their functioning:
- Equality and democracy (this principle refers to the relationships within a group),
- Experience and cooperation (referring to the responsibility of an individual),
- Freedom of forming goals, choosing the place and time, deciding on the level of difficulty and intensity,
- Continuity, planning and active participation,
- Study materials (referring to material conditions),
- Intertwinement of voluntary and government financial support (for learning material itd.),
- The change on a personal and community levels and action.
The goals and the purpose of study circles have changed through time. At first their role was to widen the offer for learning programs for adults and with its presence they contributed to the democratization of the society. In ten-years time their purpose of making the education more accessible, motivating for learning mainly uninterested adults and including minority groups have come to the fore.
Study circles are, therefore, a form of cooperative leaning (experiencing, summarizing) with a typical group structure (heterogeneous in form and homogeneous in interest) in which a positive symbiosis between responsible individuals is established and cooperative skills are developed.
Some study circles can be thought of as a secondary community.