Sunday, September 06, 2020

New Online eFranklin Circles now forming:

Associated we can accomplish more than in isolation. Ben Franklin

What is a Franklin Circle?

Experience keeps a dear School, but Fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that. We may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct. They that won’t be counseled can’t be helped. If you will not hear Reason, She’ll surely rap your Knuckles. Poor Richard.


In 1727 Benjamin Franklin formed his more Ingenious Acquaintances into a club for mutual improvement, which they eventually called the Junto. Each meeting had two parts: 1)  In rotation, each member was to, as Franklin said, “produce and read an essay of his own writing on any subject he pleased.” 2) In addition, the group addressed Franklin’s 24 Standing Queries or Questions for Discussion, which we have edited down to 7.  Franklin’s original Junto Group met each week for 35 years, and Franklin called it “the best school,” it having helped him and the others learn to become successful business people and civic leaders. Training Magazine has cited Franklin’s Junto as an example of the best principles of modern adult education. The Franklin Circle may be Franklin’s best invention!


         Franklin Circle Model Meeting  Format (to be modified by each new group.)

                Individuals Associated can do more for society, and themselves, than they can in isolation. Benjamin Franklin

10 Guidelines:

1.  This model meeting is for people who might like the benefits of a Franklin Circle..

2.   Membership is usually limited to 12 people interested in similar learning topics. 

3.   Proceedings of the group are intended to be confidential but no guarantee, of course.

4.   All those in attendance subscribe to the Questions for Members, (these modified by each group.)

5.   Discussion will center on the Standing Queries, (again, modified) below. Time kept by the chair.

6.   The member recognized by the chair will control the floor.

7.   One of those attending will read a paper or make a presentation at each meeting (this for today.).

8.   Groups take no position on outside issues or candidates. We seek to inform, not reform.

9.    Impolite behavior or violation of these guidelines shall be fined by a simple majority vote

             10. Such money may be used to help celebrate Ben Franklin’s birthday each January 17.

Questions for Members (Answered in unison at the beginning of each meeting. Modified by each group)

1.  Do you have any unresolved differences with any member present? NO

2.  Do you believe any person should be harmed because of his opinions or religion? NO

3.  Do you love truth for truth’s sake? Will you endeavor to find it yourself and communicate it? YES

Standing Queries (Answered by each member in turn. Modified by each group.)

1.  Have you read over these queries this morning to consider what you might have to offer the group?

2.  Have you read, heard, or seen anything that might be helpful if communicated?

3.  Who has failed or done well, and what were the causes?

4.  Can you think of anything at present in which members may be serviceable?

5.  Can the group or anyone in it do anything to be of assistance to you?

6.  Is there any matter of opinion, of justice, or injustice, which you would have discussed at this time?

7.  Do you see anything amiss in the present proceedings of our group which might be amended?

 Shapiro & Bottary, The Power of Peers, Bibliomotion, 2016.

Training Magazine, “What We Know for Sure About Adult Learning,” June 1995.

Malcolm Knowles, Self-Directed Learning—A Guide for Learners & Teachers,  Josey-Bass, 1975.

Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, Yale University Press, 1964. (Best annotated edition.)

H.W. Brands, The First American—The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, Doubleday, 2000.

Ronald K Esplin,  MA Thesis, Franklin’s Colleagues and Their Club: the Junto. Uof VA, 1979.


A celebration of Ben Franklin’s birthday is planned for each January 17. How may we help you? If you’d like a free presentation for your organization, if you want help to start a new group with your more Ingenious Acquaintances, or if you’d like to join one of our SBCC Franklin Circles that is forming now, please contact us. (303)861-1447. 

Our presentation “How to revive your club, association or chamber,” is a free service of your

Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Questions? (303)861-1447

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