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Monday, August 1, 2011

Article Explores Intersections of Informal, Formal and Incidental Learning

University of Minnesota Extension Environmental Science Education programming and staff focus primarily on informal science education. However, we recognize that the boundaries of what encompasses 'informal' vs. 'formal' or 'incidental' education are fuzzy, confusing at times. Can a classroom teacher use 'informal' methods? Is an after-school program more 'informal' or 'formal'? Is the presenter, who lectures youth at a nature-center program, facilitating 'formal' or 'informal' education?

Perhaps each of these situations blends all three types of education. In the current issue of Adult Education Quarterly, author Kaela Jubas describes education as an holistic process. The article Everyday Scholars: Framing Informal Learning in Terms of Academic Disciplines and Skills describes how the learning involved in an everyday activity like shopping can involve each of five themes inherent to education. See for the abstract.

Jubas' article may be interesting for those of you who, like our ESE team, often find your education programs positioned at the intersections of different types of education.

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