“Every kid has an interest. Sometimes he doesn’t know what it is, sometimes he can’t articulate it. But every kid has an interest and that is a fundamental belief. It is not only about helping that kid identifying the interest but progress through that interest, become more advanced”, Diana Rhoten, Director, Digital Media and Learning Program, Social Science Research Council.
Students are learning not only at school, but also in a variety of so-called non-formal and informal learning settings outside of school. Such individual learning interests could for instance include for a young person to learn a new skill like playing a guitar through youtube videos. Learning takes place when something is happening that captures the young person’s interest. “It is something that can influence you, something that brings out emotions and allows yourself to find answers to certain questions.”
In this course, you will learn:
- what formal, non-formal and informal learning is
- how to empower your students to learn in these different settings also by creating more synergies
- how to use personalizing and collaborative learning as teaching approaches to empower your students in their own learning
Why should we care about our students’ learning experiences in non-formal and informal settings? Here are several good reasons, and probably you can still think of others yourself.
- The learning taking place in non-formal and informal learning settings can be powerful as these settings force the practical value of learning.
- Non-formal education focuses on the process, the emotion that it brings out in you and how you are learning.
- Non-formal and informal learning settings can unlock students’ creative potential.
- Enabling students to create links between the learning in different learning settings can empower them to become the drivers of their own learning and making their learning more enjoyable and fruitful.
- Students that can integrate informal learning experiences (own interests) into their formal learning in the classroom will be more motivated to learn in class.
- Likewise, students learning 21st century skills such as learning to learn and collaborating with others can also use these new skills in informal learning settings outside of school.