About ABF - Åland, the workers’ eductional association
ABF -Åland was created in the beginning of the 1980’s by unions on Åland and has today 34 member associations.
ABF arranges lectures and courses in collaboration with the member associations, but also with other associations, organisations and authorities.
ABF organizes and develops the possibilities for study circles.
ABF wants to:
Education is not only content but movement.
Education is both action and an approach.
Education is a concrete action in the shape of organised studies, often through an educational association but also from other directions.
The part of education concerning approach demands an openness and free access.
The areas of knowledge within the social sciences and humanities and the cultural sector are the easiest to include in informal education, but there are also natural sciences and technical science invloved.
Education cannot be measured.
There is today a market of opinions where thought, attitudes and communities are seen as commodities the citizens can choose between. There are a lot of opinions that are not based on thought and reflection. There is a big space for simplifying instead of basing opinions on values, knowledge and processed experience. The market of opinions are controlled by commercial interests, but governments and authorities around the world are also trying to make the citizens have the proper opinions.
All informal education requires that the participant wants, can and have the right to ask their own questions.
Education is one of those concepts, such as democracy and freedom, that are positive but hard to specify. Education can be gained through study and reflection and can be seen as a part of developing personality in a versatile way. To be educated is to have active values, says John Steinberg, that is to have considered and reflected before forming an opinion.
But education touches on self realization, is that enough? To become educated is about growing as a human being, but also as a fellow man. To be educated does not have to mean that the person is cultivated and a higher education is not a guarantee for being educated.
Education is partly things you ”should know” and partly a process that continues throughout your whole life. It is an ability to analyze society, humans and knowledge.
Education is to dare open doors. To be eternally curious about the things that are different.
But it is also about using what you know in everyday life
About the studycircle
The study circle is a fantastic thing, to be part of a study circle is about community where development is in focus and the challenge lies in finding ways and paths that fits every participant. To together with others seek knowledge and new experiences. All voices shall be heard and everyones opinions taken into consideration - it is an important part of democratic society.
A study circle can gather a group who wants to play rock music or act, a group who likes photography, work on motorbikes or read books, who wants to study philosophy or are going out traveling and wants to learn mote about the destination, or people who gather to knit och bake - a study circle is a group of people who together seeks new knowledge and creates something new and the ways of doing that are endless.
One thing is for certain, our society needs more education and the study circle is an important method that many more people should have access to.
A way of teaching that puts the experiences of the participants in focus. If you want to learn something by studying together, knitting in group, read and discuss books, play music, then you can start a study circle together. ABF gives financial support to informal education.
A study circle can be arranged within an association but it can also be made by an independent group.
What is a study circle?
A study circle is a way of meeting and exchanging experiences and learn more about something you are interested in. It is you yourselves who decides what you want to study and how you want to work.
It is not difficult to start you own circle:
A study circle has to have at least 3 members above 13 years of age, of which one is the leader. The circle follows a study plan and meet up at least 5 times. An activities report has to be submitted.
ABF will help you to make a study plan for your circle and has a simple template for presentation.
ABF can be a resource in many ways. You might need to buy materials or want to meet others who does the same thing. We also offer courses in among others leadership and association techniques.
The circle leader is ABF’s representative in the circle and is responsible for making sure that the study plan is being followed and that a list of attendees is submitted.
As a study circle you can have this for example:
Access to a locale
Possibility to borrow equipment
Help with administration
Look for or start a study circle!
Are you already a group who wants to meet up within the frame of a study circle or do you have a subject to start a study circle around? Contact the study leader Mia Hanström.