Study Groups

The IRP's peer learning model consists of "study groups" that are conceived and developed by members, who then "coordinate" the study groups in a classroom setting. While the IRP curriculum is academically rigorous, study groups are noncredit, and there are no exams or grades. The IRP does not use the term "instructor" or "course." Study groups on a wide range of subject matters --from history to literature, philosophy, science, art, music, and drama-- are coordinated by peers (see examples below). The program is committed to small study groups and to the unique sense of community that distinguishes this program from other education programs. Some classes feature guest speakers and many study groups are co-coordinated allowing for shared responsibility in both planning and leading study groups. A special camaraderie develops among IRP study group members and between the members and study group coordinators who prepare and guide stimulating, engaging sessions.

All members of our peer learning community take their responsibilities seriously, and proactive engagement is an integral element of the entire IRP program. IRP students are expected to register each semester for at least two study groups. (Under some circumstances, one-semester leaves of absence are granted to IRP members in good standing.) Members thrive in an environment that fosters social bonding, shared educational experiences, and attention to personal and intellectual development.

Members work with the Curriculum Committee to select and develop study group topics that match their interests and expertise. The Curriculum Committee ensures that the content of study groups is varied each semester. Participants in study groups do not receive credit, take tests, or get grades, but they are responsible for sharing the results of their research, keeping up with assigned readings, and contributing to class discussions.

During both the fall and the spring semesters, IRP students are expected to register for at least two study groups. The hour-and-a-half-long classes meet once a week for 12 weeks and are offered in the morning and afternoon. An abbreviated program is offered in the summer for a small additional fee.

Fall 2020 Study Groups

Fall 2020 Study Groups begin on Friday, September 11, 2020 and end on Monday, December 21, 2020.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:30-11:00 9:30-11:00 9:30-11:00 9:30-11:00 9:30-11:00
Artificial
Intelligence

Bernie Belkin
Plagues and
Infectious Diseases

Joseph Zuckerman

Panics and Busts:
Depressions and
Recessions

Susan Heide, Dan
Hertzberg

Cleopatra – A
Witness to the Ebb
and Flow of History

Meera Kumar
Writing Memoir:
Telling Your Story

Laini Gerald, Alix
Kane

Writing Workshop
Leslie Bedford,
Charles Troob

War and Peace
Lesley Herrmann,
Ruth Mackaman
TR
Tom Sear

Great
Conversations from
Great Books

Arlyne LeSchack,
Judith Zaborowski

Dutch Seventeenth-
Century Art

Deborah Markow
Advanced Guided
Autobiography

David Grogan
11:45-1:15PM 11:45-1:15PM 11:45-1:15PM 11:45-1:15PM 11:45-1:15PM
Quantum
Mechanics in the
Modern World

Reuven Opher

Caro’s Robert
Moses

Barry Cooper

Bertolt Brecht:
Politics and Art

Susan Sabatino
Homer’s Odyssey
Nicholas Alexiou

How to Read A Film
Philip Botwinick,
Simon Chung,
Moya Duffy, Marianne
Nelson

Chamber Master
Musicworks

James Smith
Energy: Sources,
Policies, Security &
Impact

Michael Kessler

Movies Made by
Women

Howie Menikoff

The Underground
Nat Ryan
Collision: Medicine,
Law and Ethics

Bob Braff, Lenore
Cooney, Anita
Highton, Susan
Rauch

The Co-evolution of
Language and the
Brain

James Smith

Shakespeare Out
Loud: King Lear

Lucy Sacks
The Lives of Others:
Reading Memoir

Susan Herman, Micky
Josephs, Miriam
Lawrence,
Eileen Sullivan, Toni
Young

The Mystery of the
Romani People

Frank Carden, Arlene
Spiller
2:00-3:30PM 2:00-3:30PM 2:00-3:30PM 2:00-3:30PM 2:00-3:30PM
Revisiting
Feminism

Melicent Rothschild

Road to Now (A
Political System in
Tatters)

Philip Botwinick,
Simon Chung
"You Say You Want a
Revolution…"

Jack Zevin

“It Can’t Happen
Here”, CAN IT?

Arlynn Brody, Steve
Kalinsky

North American
Indians: A History

Maury Harris, Ron
Lazar, Ken Witty
Love, Loss and the
19 th C Novel

Sophie Balcoff

First Golden Age of
Television

Greg McCaslin, Ira
Rubin

America – Empire or
Hegemon?

John Becker
Capitalism: A
History

Michael Hill, Raoul
Oreskovic

Opera
Mark Dichter, Charles
Troob

Hollywood Goes
West

Lynn Brenner,
Barbara Marwell,
Sheila O’Connell
 

Past Study Groups

Art and Music
Drama and Film
Government
History and Politics
Interdisciplinary
Law
Literature
Philosophy
Poetry
Science
Social, Political, and Economic Trends