Education is the structured process of helping people acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, beliefs, and learning habits, and facilitates development of individuals and society. Educational systems include training, teaching, institutional management, storytelling, discussion, and directed learning. There is a broad range of approaches to education which are designed for different purposes and include school teaching, college teaching, adult education, vocational education, home education, public education, religious education, training and development, social studies, philosophy and psychology, education management and teaching, science, technology, geography and other natural aspects, mathematics, history, literature and creative studies, public relations, psychology and counseling, government and teaching in K-12 education.
Informal education refers to those approaches and strategies which are implemented as a supportive tool to education. The basic education includes reading, writing, basic math, science, English, history, and the social sciences, while the specialized education addresses advanced learning, classroom management, science and math instruction, reading and writing instruction, cultural studies, foreign languages, philosophy, psychology and education, physical education. Informal education can be promoted by teachers, parents, schools, communities, and other groups. It provides flexibility for students because it is self-paced and based on lesson knowledge and skills. It can also be informal because of its focus on learners as individuals.
The most common types of informal education are teacher initiated, student initiated, community initiated, and institutionalized. Teacher initiated refers to cooperative education developed between teachers and students in classrooms and colleges or other educational systems. It is characterized by open communication between students and teachers who facilitate discussions, encourage interest, and response. Initiated can be either student initiated or parent initiated. Community initiated is an educational system in which a group of people come together to create, promote and support an educational program in schools, colleges or other education settings.
Informal education brings various benefits to a society. It helps to improve quality of life, economy, and government. In some cases, it also helps to reduce societal conflicts and increase community cohesion. Formal education brings academic knowledge to people through different stages of their lives. It ensures that people acquire technical skills and learn about the basic concepts of learning. It prepares people for career advancement and promotes social awareness.
A formal education system offers only classroom-based instruction. It is usually associated with academic institutions. The curriculum, teaching methods, assessment measures, evaluation procedures, and evaluation reports of public education systems may vary significantly from one state to another. The curriculum is determined by the state’s needs and conditions. Some states have compulsory classes while others have parental control over it.
The benefits of informal education system are wide and numerous. It enables the learner to gain a basic understanding about the concepts and content. It helps students to use new learning processes in a quick manner. It introduces students to various models and alternative learning approaches. Through a formal education system, children are trained to develop self-reflection and analytical skills and improve their problem-solving abilities.