Informal education

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Informal Education is a general term for education outside of a standard school setting. Informal Education is the wise, respectful and spontaneous process of cultivating learning. It works through conversation, and the exploration and enlargement of experience. For Example, Informal education has activities with children, young people and adults. Sometimes there is a clear objective link to some broader plan - example around the development of reading. It can refer to various forms of alternative education, such as:

Informal education consists of accidental, unclear, quantitative information. It usually has a quantitative aspect then a qualitative one. Informal education exceeds formal education in content and knowledge.

Role of Informal Education[edit]

An important role in informal education is played by mass media. In order to meet information that come from mass media youthful, you need to analyse, synthesis and then accept the results. Informal education refers even too emotions, feelings, believe, superstitions, etc. Gained knowledge as a result of formal, non-formal educations sooner or later if passed through prism of informal education and takes the form of values, believes, traditions, etc.

In the center of informal education concepts is situated the individual. The reaction of different persons to similar information can be different in each case this is why it cant be predicted or controlled. Informal education is the least controlled, that's why this type of education cannot be excluded of somebodies life.

Characteristics of Informal Education[edit]

  1. Informal Education place conversation at the center of their activities.
  2. They operate in a wide range of settings, often within the same day. These include center, schools, colleges, peoples home, workplaces and social, cultural and sporting setting.
  3. Informal Education look to create or deepen situations where people can learn spontaneously explore and enlarge experience and make changes.
  4. Informal Education place special emphasis on building just a democratic relationship and organisation that allow people to share in community.

Informal Education offers the following[edit]

  1. Responsiveness when interact with environment.
  2. Possibility to freely act in unknown situation.
  3. Possibility of an individual learning, without any obligations.
  4. Free choice and change of interest.
  5. Freedom of self formation.
  6. Develop the human learning


Informal Education is driven by conversation and being with others. It develops through spending time with people - sharing in their - and listening and talking. Catherane Blyth has described conversation has "the spontaneous business of making connections" (Blyth 2008:4). It involves connecting with both ideas and other people. " Conversation changes the way you see the world, and even changes the world" (Zeldin 1999:3).

When we put conversation at the center of education it leads to exchange of thoughts which doesn't have predetermined curriculum or plan. In conversation we, as educated, have to catch moment where we can say or do something to deepen people's thinking's or put it themselves in touch with there feelings. For the most part, we do not have lesson plans to follow, we respond to situations, to experiences.

Spontaneity - Exploring and Enlarging Experience[edit]

All educated should attend to experience and encourage people to reflect, informal educators are thrown in to this. As John Dewey once wrote, "the business of education might be defined as Emancipation and Enlargement of Experience". (1933:340).

Anywhere, Anytime[edit]

Such conversations and activities can take place anywhere and that anytime. Informal education works through and is driven by, conversation it is spontaneous and involves exploring and enlarging experience. It can takes place in any settings.

Purpose of Informal Education[edit]

The purpose of informal education is no different to any other form of education in one situation it may focus on healthy eating, in another family relationship.However, running through all these is a concerns to built the sorts of communities and relationships in which people can be happy and fulfilled. The values and behaviors needed for conversations to take place requires co-operation and neighborliness, co-operation and democracy are to flourish.

Informal Education tend to emphasis certain values they includes[edit]

  1. Work for the well being of all.
  2. Respect the unique value and dignity of each human being.
  3. Dialogue.
  4. Equality and Justice.
  5. Democracy and the active involvement of people in the issues that affect their life. (Jeff and Smith 2005:95-6)

Informal Education focus on values. There is no curriculum or guiding plan for lot of work.


  1. Ability to react in different situations.
  2. Ability to understand and control new situations.
  3. A complete understanding of self and group needs an necessities.
  4. Combination of certain social entities than has a base goal education.

Informal Education may be viewed as the learning that comes as a part of being involved in youth and community organisations. In these settings there are specialist workers or educated whose job is to encourage people to think about experiences and situations. This education is a spontaneous process helping people to learn. Its helps to cultivate communities, associations and relationships that make for human flourishing.

Informal Educators work in many different kinds of settings with individuals and groups who choose to engage with them.[1] The mass media (including television, video games, magazines, etc.),[2] museums, libraries, zoos, after-school groups and other community-based organizations and cultural institutions offer forms of informal education.


  1. ^ YMCA George Williams College handbook (1998:4)
  2. ^ Falk, John H. (2001). Science Education: How We Learn Science Outside of School. New York: Teachers College ISBN 0-8077-4064-0

<Blyth, C. (2008). The Art of Conversation. London: John Murray.> <Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think. New York: D. C. Heath.> <Sennett, R. (2012) Together. The rituals, pleasures and politics of cooperation. London: Allen Lane.> <Zeldin (1999). Conversation: How Talk Can Change Your Life. London: Harvill Press>

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