Study Circles for Social Change Programme


Update: Online study circle support

Do you want to start an online study circle? Would you like assistance in running a circle? Is there any kind of support you need with your existing study circle? Please contact


Study circles enable small groups of participants to learn together, and from each other, about how to advance their interests and needs using a democratic, interactive and participatory method of education. Study circles of grassroots leaders in trade unions and community organisations are essential for building vibrant democratic organisations with an active membership.

What topics do study circles cover?

Study circles cover a range of topics that can range from training for shop stewards, training for women in leadership, organising migrant workers, IT skills, photography and film workshops, theatre groups for social change and more.

How does IFWEA support study circles?

IFWEA supports affiliates to develop a study circle programme through training and mentoring study circle facilitators to build confidence, encourage critical thinking and promote active participation.

IFWEA offers a Facilitating Study Circles course which is an open course on OLA. You can click here to access the course.

IFWEA also supports online interaction between study circle facilitators in different countries to share experiences on curricula, materials and pedagogy of study circles and build a global knowledge community.

How can I get involved?

Share your study circle curricula, materials and methods and meet up with study circle facilitators from other organisations by joining the IFWEA community on Facebook here

You can promote study circles in your organisation through running the various courses available on OLA. You can also contact the IFWEA secretariat for support at

2019 Study Circle activities:

PHOTOGRAPHY CLUBS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: A course with unemployed youth in a development programme in Delft, South Africa.

FILM CLUBS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: A course with three local communities, who will create their own documentaries for social issues awareness in Cape Town, South Africa.

PARTICIPATORY LEARNING METHODS: AN INTRODUCTION TO WORKERS’ EDUCATION: A course with trade unionists in the retail sector in Africa.

NAMIBIA – BASIC SHOP STEWARD COURSE: To be piloted by LARRI with young workers in three unions using the study circles methodology.