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Informal education or informal learning?

With the rapid change in information and communication technologies, learning is more talked about today. It can be said that learning has taken several steps ahead of education. Today, the importance of learning and lifelong learning has gained more meaning than education.

The classification of education in formal, informal and non-formal form includes basic distinctions. Informal education is a concept that exists as a contradictory concept of formal school education. However, considering the institutional structure of education, the skills, attitudes and behaviors expressed informally can be explained by learning. The first concepts that come to mind about education are: a specific place and time, plans, goals, professional tutorials, curriculum, assessment and evaluation tools and so on. The concepts evoked by education can of course be reproduced. And these concepts point out to the formal aspect of education.

On the other hand, it is seen that the concept of learning is more inclusive for any situation that occurs in informal ways. Because learning continues throughout life, it is a concept with continuity. Throughout life, informal learning is as important as formal learning in schools or institutions.

In this respect, the characteristics of informal learning can be listed as follows:

  • It occurs spontaneously in the natural environment.
  • Plan and program can not be mentioned.
  • Tutorials are not professional.
  • Can develop in a positive or negative way.
  • The place or the environment in which learning takes place is unclear, learning can take place anywhere.

With its structure spreading all over life, learning is more inclusive than education. With regard to literacy, Freire said that reading the words also meant reading the world. It can be said that learning in general sense; learning every day and informal learning in particular means that everyone, especially adults, can read the world.

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