Formal education is a structured, organized form of learning that is happening within the building and walls of government or privately owned schools. Most of us have been trough some form of formal education, starting from preschool, middle school, high school, continuing then troughs college and faculty. Although this type of learning has many advantages, like preparing the people to continue their life in academic and structured circles, it also has a lot of negative sides: like putting pressure, to many assigned books and wide area of studies that are not part of our interest, so there is a great presence of demotivation there because we learn thing we are not interested in. Also the grade system makes us stressful, sometimes even depressed because we cannot reach the desired grade and there is often a presence of great level of competition.
On the other side we have informal education, which is basically learning trough living. We start from the young age, weather is it learning to speak, learning letters, learning to ride a bike, learning to socialize and it continues trough our whole life. Some examples of informal learning are:
Learning trough conversation– whenever we speak or debate with other, we get in touch with the new points of view, new opinion, new information’s. At that moment we are not even aware that we are learning, but we are doing so. Also when we get in touch with people from other nations and cultures, we learn a lot about their traditions, values, cultures, countries. Even we can learn the language in this way, without the structural grammatic that formal education usually offer us. This is a more natural way of learning, because we learn by listening, practicing and we learn naturally.
Learning by watching and doing-weather is watching our mother or father prepares dinner for us, we are picking up the way of cooking they are using, or even helping our parents with chores, gardening, making repairs, making fire, it is all a way of learning that is preparing us for life.
Learning troughs books, Tv, videos– whenever we are interested in some topic, we do a research to learn more. We read book about gardening, fishing, coding, other cultures, etc. By watching many tutorial videos on Internet we also learn, weather is it photography, filming, writing, tips, etc. By watching television, we can learn by watching documentaries, even watching series on different language we can pick up the language.
Learning by travelling– there is no better way to learn about culture, history and people than this. It is not the same reading something from the book and learning it by heart like in schools, but when we actually visit some place, we learn a lot more and we understand more.
Thesse are just some of the examples of informal learning and they have a lot of benetifs:
Freedom to choose– we are choosing the topics of our own interest
Motivation-we are highly motivated because we learn the things that we love and feel passion about
There is no pressure and grading– nobody is putting deadlines upon us and no one gives us grades for our knowledge. We don’t feel stressful
There are no structures and organization -sometimes the boundaries that formal education offer us, can make us demotivated or some of us just feel like that there are not good enough to live up the standards, this is not the case here because there is no presence of any type of frame that within we need to learn
Unconscious learning– sometimes we are not even aware of the fact that we are learning something, but we basically learn all the time through experiencing life and trying out the new thing, by meeting new people, etc.
Spontaneous learning– it can happen any time, anywhere, without any planning
Lifelong learning-what we learn troughs practice, stays forever with us and it is a constant process of learning
There is no learning method– you are free to choose your way of learning, weather is it listening, reading, practicing
Natural way– it is the most natural way of learning, because You learn through people, community, society, media