Formal Systematic Learning Is Less Important Than Informal Learning. Discuss This Statement With – Term Paper Example

Informal vs. Formal learning The growth of informal methods of learning has been an interesting phenomenon over the past few decades and is being increasingly embraced within institutions of learning, irrespective of various theories and studies that govern the principles of learning. In many respects, people learn from one another to perform and apply many principles and methodologies in an informal fashion (Jay Cross, 2006).
Although the term ‘Informal learning’ seems rather recent, it has in fact been around for many centuries. The many instances of legends being retold through storytelling or the concept of vocational training that focuses on providing hands-on experience are all examples of informal teaching. Although it has stood the test time, learning and educational institutions of the modern world, which prefer to instruct using formal techniques, have been rather reluctant towards adopting informal methods, sometimes even in a partial manner (Bob Hoffman, 2005). To them, the occupancy rates of classes or the amount of students who passed a course are worthy statistics although they lack the necessary luster or the depth to determine the reasons for variant learning amongst students despite being in the same class.
Several qualitative traits such as leadership, motivation and decision-making, which are essential in today’s competitive world, transcend formal educational barriers and some of the largest companies today prefer to train future leaders and managers through practical training and challenging assignments, which help nurture the necessary qualities to withstand such battles. The advent of technology over the years, which has seen people rely more and more on using electronic means to learn, communicate and do much of their daily tasks, is also taking the discussion of informal learning to a completely new level. Increasing number of people prefer to learn through videos and exchange electronic learning material. Finally, the relevance of informal teaching gains prominence simply from the advent of the Internet, where much of the knowledge is shared through the web in the form of documents, video and websites (John Garrick, 1998).
1. Jay Cross (2006), Informal learning: rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance. New York: John Wiley.
2. Bob Hoffman (2005), Informal Learning. American Society for Training and Development.
3. John Garrick (1998), Informal learning in the workplace: unmasking human resource development. London: Routledge.