Informal LearningThe powerful way we learn and share information together
Definition• Learning resulting from daily work-related, family or leisure activities (Halliday-Wynes 2006)• Outside the formal education system or structured training and does not lead to a qualification. (Richardson 2004)• Continuous and ongoing (Halliday-Wynes 2006)• Is everywhere, supportive, unstructured, spontaneous, intrinsic, voluntary , learner–led, not evaluated and is non-sequential. (Misko 2008)
Who benefits?• Disengaged learners who were challenged by formal education as it can lead them back to education and training. (Halliday-Wynes 2006)• Older workers and learners, as it utilises their life experience. (ABS 2007)• Workers and business as it focuses on the needs of the organisation and employment opportunities. (Halliday-Wynes 2006)• Migrants and refugees assisting with language acquisition and formation of community networks and support groups. (Halliday-Wynes 2006)Halliday-Wynes, S., & Beddie, F. (2009). Informal learning: At a glance. Canberra: National Centre for Vocational EducationResearch (NCVER).
Cultural benefits• A confidence boost to persons thinking about formal learning pathways• Significant assistance to employers regarding the potential contribution of employees to business• Support for young, mature-aged and migrant people seeking to improve their employment prospects• Enables the integration of highly skilled workers and provides pathways for up skillingMisko, J., (2008) Combining formal, non-formal and informal learning for workforce skill development, National Centre forVocational Education Research, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Canberra. Accessed 28/8/2011.
What are they? “Communities of practice are self-organised and are selected groups of people who share a common sense of purpose and a desire to learn and know what one another knows” (Taylor 2006)• Mutual engagement • Negotiated agreement• Allows self-autonomy • Shared resources• Bound into social entity • Group ownership• Participate in a joint activity • Participate in a joint activity “Held together by commitment and identity”.Taylor, M. C. (2006). Informal adult learning and everyday literacy practices. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(6), 500-509.
Involves• Reading • Volunteering• Using computers and • Learning from, family, the internet friends and co-workers• Watching TV • On the job training• Listening to the radio • Engaging in mentoring • Learning through trial• Visiting libraries and error• Attending lectures • Making things
How does it occur?• Project based learning (Taylor 2006)• Specific purpose that is identified• Undertaken by an individual (Taylor 2006)• No assistance from an educator (Taylor 2006)• Focused and intentional• Learner is aware when learning is occurring (Taylor 2006)• Strategies used to memorise the learning• Repeat use to confirm the learning
When does it occur?• Experience based learning• No intention to learn• After the experience the person becomes aware that learning has occurred• Unintentional but conscious• Aware after the experience through reflection• Strategies maybe used to memorise the learning• Learning maybe repeated use to confirm the learning
What is it?“Tacit learning refers to the internalization of values,attitudes, behaviours, or skills that occur duringeveryday life” How does it occur?• Unintentional learning, gained through• Unconscious, as not aware that learning occurred• Realization after reflection
Conditions that enhanceAn awareness of the learning involves:• Critical reflection to expose tacit knowledge and beliefs• Proactive engagement by the learner to actively identify opportunities or issues and to learn new skills to implement solutions• Creativity to explore a wider range of options
Social and cultural learningInformal learning is by nature social:• Interaction to identify and seek a resolution• Sharing the exploration, the learning and the solution• Community engagement is a common feature to build and share information, experience and reflection
ReferencesABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2008), Australian Social Trends, Canberra: Catalogue 4102.0.Eshach, H., (2007) Bridging In-school and Out-of-school Learning: Formal, Non-Formal, andInformal Education, Journal of Science Education and Technology, Vol. 16, No. 2, April 2007Halliday-Wynes, S., & Beddie, F. (2009). Informal learning: At a glance. Canberra: National Centrefor Vocational Education Research (NCVER).Misko, J., (2008) Combining formal, non-formal and informal learning for workforce skilldevelopment, National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Department ofEducation, Employment and Workplace Relations. Canberra. Accessed 28/8/2011.Richardson, S., (2004) Employers’ contribution to training, Canberra: National Centre forVocational Education Research (NCVER).Taylor, M. C. (2006). Informal adult learning and everyday literacy practices. Journal of Adolescent& Adult Literacy, 49(6), 500-509.