What is Formal Education?
Education is the process by which people acquire knowledge, skills, ideas, attitudes, morals, beliefs, and practices for their own development as individuals and as a society. Educational systems include training, teaching, interactive learning, collaborative research and directed learning. In education, different approaches are used to reach students. These approaches include formal classroom education, home schooling, Montessori, liberal arts education and religious education.
The concept of education is that it provides social, emotional, bodily and intellectual development for humans. A well-rounded education helps individuals grow and develop properly. It teaches us how to think, how to solve problems, how to work with other people and how to preserve order and dignity in a peaceful and healthy society. The purpose of education is to provide people with the knowledge they need to participate effectively in society and achieve their goals.
The benefits of informal education were recognized many years ago. It was Thomas Jefferson’s primary school teacher, Doctor George Fox who said that “A school is a place in which the young minds of a day are consulted to enable them to make knowledge which will secure their weakness and repulse from vice and virtue”. Informal learning processes include conversation, observation, exploration, problem-solving and analysis, presentation and simple writing. It is designed to build self-discipline, self-orientation, critical thinking, and independent judgment.
Education helps people live better lives and succeed in work, in sports, in love relationships, in politics, in religion, in business and in daily living. It helps individuals become responsible, accountable citizens. It develops leadership skills and helps people become skilled at problem solving and creative problem solving. It develops self-esteem and teaches the importance of teamwork and working together in a group. Formal education helps improve students’ literacy, math and verbal skills. It also develops self-motivation and self-direction.
Formal education helps us become competent and effective leaders. There are more job vacancies in the United States for highly educated people. Therefore, highly educated people have a good chance of finding better jobs in the corporate sector. Formal education helps us become socially aware and socially responsible citizens. Education is an essential part of societal development and helps us become competitive in the job market.
Informal education involves direct experience, direct observation, self-directed learning process and self-monitoring. It is based on the principle that real-life learning process can be more valuable than classroom learning process. It does not exclude classroom teaching and learning but it does not rely on book reading or textbook study alone. It is an informal process that takes place between students and teachers where the learners are the learners and the teachers are the teachers. It involves active dialogues and open-ended discussions. It is more supportive and helps to build social capital.