Education plays a vital role in our life. It is the basic right of everyone. Education helps us to become better human beings, understand things better, nurtures our minds, and polish our skills. The importance of education cannot be overestimated as it is the key to a bright and secure future. Education helps people to lead fuller, more successful, and better lives. Nowadays, more people want the best education whether it is for themselves or their children, but everyone wants to receive a good education. This is because more people are now aware of the importance of education and how it benefits us and our life. Modern education has now become a more structured system. Have you ever come across the term “informal education?” Have you ever wondered what does it means? Well, if you are looking to find out what it means, then you have landed on the right page. Because in this article, we have discussed everything related to it.

What is Informal Education?

Informal education is the learning that goes into our daily life. It is a spontaneous process of helping people to learn and understand concepts in a better yet simple way. It does not have the structure and levels that formal schools have. Informal education works through conversations, explorations, or through experience. Informal education is quite diverse from formal education. It plays an integral part in the overall educational system. Informal education revolves around an organized activity that offers an education service to individuals besides the proper official education system. It means to learn without a formal curriculum.

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Basic examples of Informal education?

Some of the main basic examples that involve informal education are known:

  1. Teaching a child in their early childhood years basics such as the alphabet or numeric characters.
  2. An individual trying to learn their mother language
  3. A spontaneous type of learning.

Types of informal learning in Informal Education?

There are mainly three types of informal learning which come under it. These include:

Incidental learning

Incidental learning occurs when a learner doesn’t have any kind of intention or learning from any specific experience but still, the learning tends to take place.

Self-directed learning

Another type of informal learning is known as self-directed learning which takes place without the help of an educator but sometimes includes a resource person as a helper.

Socialization learning

Socialization learning tends to take place in our everyday life. This is because of human behavior, values, attitude, skills, and experience.

What are the characteristics of informal education?

Informal education is much more spontaneous, unlike formal education where learning is planned, timed, and scheduled. So, individuals of all backgrounds can undergo informal education even before they enter preschool, especially if they are currently learning from everything around them. Informal education has no guidelines, curriculums, or standards, and because there is no curriculum or any standardized tests, sometimes it may get difficult to comprehend if the learner understands the concepts or not.
Since informal education has independent boundary walls, and no definite syllabus so it is a lifelong process but natural. There are no degrees or certificates required, hence no one has the stress of learning new things.

What are the pros and cons of informal education?

Pros:

  1. Informal education is less costly as well as a time-efficient learning process.
  2. Informal education utilizes a variety of techniques.
  3. It involves activities such as individual and personal research on a topic of interest for themselves by reading books, going to libraries, utilizing social media, internet or even getting assistance from informal trainers, and teachers.
  4. Since it is a natural learning process, an individual can easily learn at any time or anywhere.

Cons:

  1. There might be a lack of confidence in the learners.
  2. Learners might experience the absence of discipline, attitude, and good habits.
  3. There is no proper schedule or timetable.
  4. The learning techniques being utilized may not be appropriate.
  5. Information acquired from the internet, social media, TV, or conversations with friends, and family members may lead to disinformation.

Does informal education have the same bearing as formal education?

Well, unfortunately, it does not. This is because going through formal education to become a lawyer or a doctor may take several years of experience, hard work as well as effort, and it is not the same as collecting information by reading a bunch of books or by using the internet. However, this is not about if informal education is useless, informal education may not qualify as a proper education system or an experience, but it does play an important role in some situations. Many of the important lessons as well as skills are taught to individuals outside the classroom. Informal education might not be considered valid learning but there are certain things that you tend to learn better in the real world. Hence, informal education can be quite helpful to those always open and willing to learn.

Author

Natasha Irshad holds a degree in Marketing & Management from University of London. She is interested in writing about education and pop culture.

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