Relational Learning Circles

Listen, Learn, Love.

Relational Learning Circles (RLCs) are one-hour online conversations that function as focus groups on relational knowledge, attitudes and practices, in which participants ask, listen, relate and learn from one another. 

Participants who opt to participate in RLCs are encouraged to have at least two RLCs over one year. The groups consist of participants from all over the world.

RLCs

18 years of age and above

You will participate individually.

Junior RLCs

13 to 17 years of age

To participate, you need to involve a teacher/an adult guide in your Circles. You can also involve up to two other peers.

1.      An RLC Volunteer will have a “Welcome Chat” with you.

 

2.      An RLC will be arranged for you with two participants from other countries, on matched dates and time zones.

 

3.      You are encouraged to have at least 2 RLCs over one year.

 

4.      You’re encouraged to participate in the Relational Learning Survey if you have not already done so.

1.      An RLC Volunteer will have a “Welcome Chat” with you, your teacher or adult guide and your peers.

 

2.      An RLC will be arranged for you with two groups from other countries, on matched dates and time zones.

 

3.      You are encouraged to have at least 2 RLCs over one year.

 

4.      You’re encouraged to participate in the Relational Learning Survey if you have not already done so.

Information for all participants

The online conversations will be arranged on a day and at a time which suits you, and which works for the other participants too. 

Currently, you will connect through the online chat platforms of Zoom or Skype. There will be a Relational Learning Circle Facilitator on the call. The Facilitator may also act as a translator if necessary.

During the one-hour online conversation, the facilitator will guide you and other participants in learning from one another, by discussing questions related to relationships and the Survey, or any other questions you may have.

Respect and nonviolent communication are guiding principles throughout the conversations.

Relational Learning Circles FAQs

1.      What is the purpose of the RLCs?

The purpose of the RLCs is to provide a safe, personal and intentional educational platform for participants from different part of the world to ask, listen, relate and learn from one another.

2.      What is the ethos of the RLCs?

The Relational Learning Project considers every participant a living book/many living books with a wealth of knowledge and experiences that others can learn from.

The Circles affirm and celebrate diversity, and avoids binary, dogmatic, discriminatory, polarizing or unscientific discussions.

Friendships among the participants will also build empathy and solidarity, putting a face on people from the countries of the participants, and bringing members of the human family together. These human-to-human connections can add to the participants’ psycho-social and emotional skills and experiences, and help to ‘unteach’ any preconceived notions of ‘the other’.

The Circles provide the opportunity for participants to use their curious, creative, critical, communal and compassionate thinking skills, and to be open to questioning their own views and widening their perspectives. As such, participants will refrain from insisting on their own opinions or ‘arguing to win’.

Participants can also learn if what they have previously heard, read or thought about is accurate, information which they may have obtained from the internet, mainstream or social media, public figures, print material or other sources.

3.      What will the one-hour Circle conversation be about?

You will be learning from one another about your relationships with the natural world and the human family, by asking questions and listening to one another, with guidance from a Relational Learning Circle Facilitator.

You can also discuss any question or questions in the Relational Learning Survey you had completed, to learn about different perspectives.

4.      Can we discuss other things besides the topic of relationships?

Yes, of course. Our Project focus is on relationships and how we can connect everyone and everything in relationships, but you can discuss anything issue you wish to learn more about.

5.      Are there any rules or guidelines on what can and cannot be discussed in the Circle?

Participants need to agree on nonviolent communication and mutual respect.
We should respect any participant who may not wish to discuss particular questions or issues.

We are firm on excluding any language that is insulting, racist, discriminatory, demeaning or disrespectful.

6.      Who will be in my Relational Learning Circle and how are they chosen/matched?

There will be two other participants from two different countries in your Circle. There will also be a Relational Learning Circle Facilitator who will guide the conversation and translate if necessary.

Participants from different countries are matched for the Circle to enhance your learning experience.

7.      Are the Circle conversations confidential, and will they be recorded or broadcast?

All recordings and personal data are strictly private and confidential. With and only with your permission will the conversations be recorded for learning purposes. No one except for select members of the Relational Learning Project Team can access the recordings and data for the educational purpose of the Project.

Your permission will also be obtained by the Relational Learning Project Team if the Team wishes to upload specific conversations to the Relational Learning Project Website for the general public to learn and benefit from. Your names can be excluded from the recordings.

8.      Can my friends and family members join the Circle conversation?

For confidentiality, this will not be possible.

 

9.       Can I stop participating after the first RLC?


Yes, you are free to stop anytime, though for the Project’s purpose of learning through relationships, we encourage you to at least enjoy two RLCs in the one-year period after your registration, which will mean two hours of your time over the whole year.

10.     Can I have more than two RLCs in the next one year?

Yes, sure! Through consensus and agreement with one another, the three participants of the Circle can arrange for more than two RLCs in a year.


11.  Do I have to be concerned about whether the other two participants will turn up for the Circle?

No, prior to the Circle, arrangements will be made by the RLC Team with all three participants. If the RLC Team is informed by any participant of changes in day, date and time, you will be notified by email, and another suitable time for all three participants will be arranged.

The RLC Team will also ensure that the different time zones have been matched.

12.  Can I communicate informally with the other participants outside the Circle conversation?

Of course, once you’re friends, you can communicate outside the Relational Learning Circle Zoom Room in whatever way and with mutual agreement.

The Relational Learning Project is a non-profit educational platform and should not be mis-used for personal gain. It is not a dating platform, and not a means to seek help with asylum or travel abroad.

13.  What if I encounter unforeseen problems with any of the participants or any other aspect of the Circle?

Please correspond with the Relational Learning Circle Team by writing to relationallearningcircle@protonmail.com, which is a secure, encrypted email.

The Project team is confident that you will enjoy the Relational Learning Circles, such as the interesting conversation among the three friends below.

Relational Learning Circle 

among three unique friends

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Three unique friends from US, Russia and Afghanistan had a Relational Learning Circle on the 4th of September 2017. They were:

Maryam, a high school 12th grader in Kabul, Afghanistan
Cameron, a university undergraduate in California, US
Ivan, a university undergraduate in St Petersburg, Russia


“I think Maryam brings up a very valid point about the power of human relationships.
I think it’s important to have these conversations not only between young people but between people of all ages all across the world. It’s the power of humanizing one another;
I don’t think it can ever be surpassed.”
 
Cameron

 
You can view insightful excerpts from their online conversation in the video below.

 Three Unique Friends from US Russia Afghanistan : https://youtu.be/Xm8TtljQElw 

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Recently, they reconnected again on the 29th of November 2019, which you can watch here: https://youtu.be/kxLF72UCurk

Excerpts of online conversation among Ivan, Cameron and Maryam 


Maryam: Yah, it is the most thing that really disturb me…I mean, really make me sad….I’m worrying about my people, my home, everything there. 

Cameron: If there is anything we can do to support you from a long way away, let us know. 

Maryam: Thank you! 

Ivan: I realize there are problems, there are injustices which are inherent in this world like poverty, lack of healthcare, natural disasters. I’m not sure I know how to solve them, as a result I don’t really think of them. 

Cameron: One big challenge to the entire world would be climate change because that is just the largest example of the fact that we can dehumanize others and the world around us, and say that we are so separate from it that we cannot affect it anymore, and what’s happening on the (U.S. Mexico) border is just a small example of that. That aspect of dehumanization is universal or global at this point…I don’t know how to resolve it but…conversations like this help.