Informal Education is nowhere better (and fully) explored than at Infed.
Some see informal education as the learning that goes on in daily life. As friends, for example, we may well encourage others to talk about things that have happened in their lives so that they can handle their feelings and to think about what to do next. As parents or carers we may show children how to write different words or tie their laces. As situations arise we respond.
Others may view informal education as the learning projects that we undertake for ourselves. We may take up fishing, for example, and then start reading around the subject, buying magazines and searching out other anglers (perhaps through joining an Angling Club).
Many view informal education as the learning that comes as part of being involved in youth and community organizations. In these settings there are specialist workers / educators whose job it is to encourage people to think about experiences and situations. Like friends or parents they may respond to what is going on but, as professionals, these workers are able to bring special insights and ways of working.
Informal education can be all of these things. However, here we focus on informal education as a spontaneous process of helping people to learn. It works through conversation, and the exploration and enlargement of experience. It’s purpose, we suggest, is to cultivate communities, associations and relationships that make for human flourishing.
Informal education is the wise, respectful and spontaneous process of cultivating learning. It works through conversation, and the exploration and enlargement of experience.
Informal education’s importance and the wealth of understandings it brings to learning and an education has relevance for every mainstream and alternative educative setting / process / sector and CPE would urge any educator to find out more from Infed’s comprehensive website