The Difference Between Formal and Informal Education
Education is the process by which people acquire knowledge, skills, behaviors, values, attitudes, and social norms. Education has many forms and involves the whole life cycle from birth to death. It is used to develop individuals for their careers and in society. Schools impart knowledge and promote learning by providing teaching, learning activities, programs and facilities. The process of education includes teaching, assessment, induction, placement, training, practice, and guided research.
The informal education refers to the processes of educating people by using informal means such as games, family, informal education, informal communication systems and informal practices such as singing and dance. Informal education is a multi-dimensional process that brings out the best in people, promoting self-awareness and leadership skills. These practices help to build a foundation for formal education. It involves the basic needs of individuals, family, community and society at large, promoting social capital, individual and community growth and development through education.
The formal education takes place in classroom sessions, trainings, workshops and lectures. It requires formal classroom learning, where students are taught by experienced teachers. Classroom training is a good way to enhance formal skills and helps students to become competent writers, speakers and learners. In informal learning process, children are encouraged to take part in projects and decisions based on their own experiences and knowledge.
Adult education is a form of non-formal education. Adult education mainly involves adult education programs that take place in schools, colleges and universities. Adult education is usually conducted to upgrade job skills and to improve job opportunities. It also takes place to solve employment problems, to find new jobs or to enhance job performance. The adult education program may include college courses, university degrees, certificate programs, associate degrees and other educational and training programs. The adult education provides skills enhancement, self-improvement, career counseling and development and refresher courses.
Informal education and adult education are interrelated. Informal education refers to any learning process that does not require students to attend regular schools, colleges and universities. It can be informal learning process like taking part in a friend’s project, participating in neighborhood or community activities or learning in an online environment. On the other hand, formal education refers to any learning process that requires students to attend formal classes, courses, seminars and workshops.
Formal education generally requires students to attend lectures, participate in discussions, read written texts, gather data and use technology. It also requires students to prepare for tests, demonstrate their knowledge by presenting their work or presenting a case study. On the other hand, informal education involves more direct experience, which leads to developing an ability to listen, learn and communicate. Students are taught to develop their critical thinking skills and to face various situations. Students are taught how to determine what takes place in an informal setting compared to a formal setting and how these differences take place in the lesson.