study circles at CNFPT

Following an initial study circle at headquarters (see below), the regional delegation of the French National Centre for the Management of Territorial Service (CNFPT) for Pays de la Loire, in Angers (France), contracted Jonathan Kaplan to facilitate a study circle with the education counselors of the region. The study circle was initiated in February 2014 and lasted until June. In accordance with the principle of self-determination, the study circle topic was the result of participants' choice, made through a process by which the group distils shared concerns and interests. The topic chosen was Cooperative Modes in the Professional Sphere, Well-Being and Service Quality. This study circle was an initiative that followed from the first study circle commissioned by CNFPT headquarters.

The CNFPT approached us in 2012 with a request to set up and facilitate a study circle with its executive directors in charge of training management and instructional design at its headquarters. CNFPT participants chose to experience learning in a study circle to evaluate the potential it holds for organizational learning. The study circle started in September and ended in December 2012. The study topic that was chosen by its participants was Individual and Collective Professional Development, and Web 2.0.

Follow-up meetings enabled participants to reflect together on the experience and provide feedback. A brochure including a map of the participants' collective learning and a reference document with guidelines for extending the use of the learning format for ongoing individual and collective professional development were produced. It was this first experience of the study circle as a learning format at CNFPT that led to organizing the second study circle in Pays de la Loire.