Study Group Leaders

One of our leaders leading group discussion.

Who leads the Academy for Lifelong Learning (A.L.L.) study groups?

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.

What are a leader's responsibilities?

The Academy encourages interactive learning through member participation to the greatest extent possible. With this aim in mind, the leader's role is to:

  • establish the scope and objectives of the course.
  • introduce basic concepts.
  • keep the group on target.
  • clarify areas of confusion.
  • fill important gaps.
  • ensure the cooperative nature of the endeavor.

What are the benefits of leading a study group?

  • Free annual membership.
  • Opportunity to pursue an area of interest with other enthusiastic learners.
  • Induction into the A.L.L. Master Leaders Society after leading fifteen study groups.
  • Invitation to the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.
  • Appreciation of fellow A.L.L. members.
  • Knowledge of having made a valuable contribution A.L.L.

(Click to view comments of past study group leaders regarding their experiences.)

Do I have to have prior teaching experience?

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.

What support is given to the leaders?

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.

If I join A.L.L., will I have to lead a study group?

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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