Community Development

Publication Date



The publication of the module series, The Learning CART, is an effort to involve newcomers and practitioners with CIRCLE's leadership training and education program. The Participation of the collective leaders from the Cambodian, Vietnamese, Russian-speaking, and Tibetan communities in the workshops guided the concept of developing the module series. We thank them for sharing their knowledge, experiences, and culture.

This learning module, as well as others in the series, was made possible by the contributions and assistance of many individuals who were part of the Amherst Circle core staff. From design to facilitation to writing, the workshop facilitators of each module kept in mind the spirit of participatory education for learners engaged in skill building and consciousness raising. Others involved in the design and production of the series considered the readers who may use the modules and tailor them to specific cultural contexts as well as to individual needs, learning styles, and experiences.


Today's leaders must understand their role as enablers who help people to change their lives and communities. They must recognize that people are responsible for their own development and rely on non-directive guidance to facilitate community action. Enabling leaders are concerned with coordinated efforts and productive performance by the group they work with and have traits and skills which integrate individual needs into collective goals. Perhaps most importantly, enabling leaders have the ability to develop leadership potential in people.

This module addresses fundamental issues and dynamics in working as a group for collective action. It begins by familiarizing participants with key concepts of group need, function, role and dynamic. By doing exercises which use metaphors and puzzles, participants learn that group building requires maintaining a team spirit while getting a task done. The second segment highlights two major topics in group dynamics: communication and conflict resolution. Overview of concepts and approaches to these topics were briefly discussed, but participants learn to build their skills by enacting sociodramas, observing a skit, and doing role plays.



Book Series Title

The Learning CART (Communities Acting and Reflecting Together) Series One: Leaders as Enablers

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