All study group leaders are volunteers, Academy members as well as non-members who contribute their time, their knowledge and their love of a particular subject by convening a study group. They are reimbursed not by money but by the pleasure of leading Academy members on new mental adventures. Some have had careers in the subjects their groups study; others have read widely in a field for their own enjoyment; still others are skilled facilitators willing to explore new fields in a group setting. All are highly qualified to lead groups in the subjects they offer.
The Academy encourages interactive learning through member participation to the greatest extent possible. With this aim in mind, the leader's role is to:
(Click to view comments of past study group leaders regarding their experiences.)
Prior teaching experience is not required. All necessary assistance is given to new leaders to prepare them to lead a course and throughout the experience.
The curriculum committee, experienced leaders and the executive director offer guidance and support for new and prospective leaders. Also, the Academy has published a Study Group Leaders Handbook which leads a prospective leader through the process from conception of the original idea for a study group to the final evaluation of the course. Two leaders meetings are scheduled prior to the term to prepare leaders and to answer all their questions and concerns. Help is also available throughout the term.
No, there is no requirement for course leadership to be a member of A.L.L. Members often find, however, that after several terms attending study groups they would like the challenge and rewards of leading a group. After leading one course, most leaders are anxious to develop another topic into a study group.
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