Informal education and Incidental learning: how to use these concepts

Jump to Last Post 1-8 of 8 discussions (15 posts)
  1. Dr. Haddox profile image60
    Dr. Haddoxposted 7 years ago

    Our society places a greater emphasis on formal education than on equally important concepts of informal education and incidental learning. My success, as an educator, in business, medicine, and practical theology, has in been facilitated by my attempts to apply informal and incidental learning concepts, whenever possible, outside of the formal classroom setting. This forum may create a learning situation where we share our experiences in the application of these concepts, formal education, informal education, and incidental learning in a relaxed and non-threatening online environment. Thank you. Dr. Haddox

  2. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago

    I don't agree that more weight is given to formal education.  Most people know that they learn most thing via experience.  This form of learning is just harder to document and use in formal ways like on a CV.

    1. dipless profile image78
      diplessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      In complete agreement with you here. It is very hard to document and sell acquired skills, but employers realise the value of the learned skills through non 'formal' education.

      1. couturepopcafe profile image60
        couturepopcafeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Nope, sorry.  Any corporate environment places more value on higher education because they know the discipline it takes to get through that.  Not only is the potential employee better equipped but they've proven they can go the distance.  People who have not been through 4 years of college or more really don't realize the extent to which you have to put yourself out and dedicate your time to this.

        There is much to be said for life experience but it's not common anymore for someone to be able to convince an employer to hire them based on that unless you have a portfolio of accomplishments to document it.  There is always the exception, of course, and if you manage to get yourself hired, you can impress and move forward with learned skills.  But there's no bluffing anymore so you'd better come really equipped.

        Fortunately, there are many entrepreneurs who make their own way but it's likely that when they have to hire someone, they'll end up doing the same thing, scrutinizing the potential employee's portfolio or lack thereof sans a higher education.

        1. dipless profile image78
          diplessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I'm not saying that employers don't value degrees and higher education, however in order to get the top level jobs you will also need the informal experience to go with it.  I totally agree with you that it shows dedication, commitment and a certain level of key transferable skills which is highly sort after amongst employers. It also gives some very specific knowledge.

          I was not debating the value of higher education, mealy stating that employers know the value of experience. They are more likely to hire a person with a slightly lower 'grade' from their degree with a few years of relevant experience that a new graduate.

          I hope that I have explained myself better, I hold higher education in very high esteem, it is just not the be all and end all.

          1. couturepopcafe profile image60
            couturepopcafeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Absolutely. Agree on all points. Personally, I'd like to go back to the old days when you could walk into a job interview and if they liked you, you had the job and learned on the job.  But those days are gone.  It's a changed world.

    2. Jynzly profile image71
      Jynzlyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      There are as many ideas and beliefs as there are many thinkers coming from various cultures and societies. Everybody has a say and I respect everyone's opinions because I do believe that what one sincerely believes works for him/her otherwise he/she would change such beliefs. As far as formal and informal education is concerned, I speak on my experience as an academician for more than 20 years now.
      In my experience I've listened to varied contentions both from schools drop-outs, graduates in our school, and the students themselves. Some students would say that formal education is not necessary in order to be successful in life. While this can be true in some circumstances but this would still be dependent on the personality of the given person. A research study was conducted comparing a group of 100 under graduates to another group of 100 who were successful in their formal studies and were able to earn their degrees.. The study was ongoing for five years and the result was that only 10% of those undergraduates have improve their life situation, whereas 90% of those degree holders had finally gone a long way in their living condition. It's not just the employment opportunity we are talking about here. It's the discipline and character building one has experienced when he spent four years of his life in the academe...formal education is a foundation. The knowledge gained in school prepares one to understand why things happen the way they do...whereas the person who learns through trial an errors in the "street" experiences the hard way before he understands why things are happening...he does not have the "foundation" that the formal schools teach.

  3. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago

    OP doesn't specify a corporate setting, but all of society. I think society in general values non-formal education very highly.  e.g. parenting skills, pop idol winners, extreme sport athletes, etc

    Most of the things we value on a day to day basis are not formal job applications, they are just stuff people do that we appreciate or admire.

    1. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Good point.  Both have their value.

  4. Dr. Haddox profile image60
    Dr. Haddoxposted 7 years ago

    Thus far, the dialogues have been good, and the learning experiences, at least for myself, have been useful because your comments have helped me to think about and to see formal education and informal education from different angles and from different life experiences.
    My past research involving formal education, informal education, and incidental learning was completed in a small Amish community where one-roomed school houses existed. These Amish families sent their children to the one-roomed schools to complete their informal education which ran from the first grade to grade eight. The children graduated from school at grade eight, and received no more formal education after that.
    However, their education continued, just the same, as they learned Agri-business, skilled trades, and religion from their parents, older sibblings and. I have to stop here for a moment. I will continue, shortly. Dr. Haddox

  5. Dr. Haddox profile image60
    Dr. Haddoxposted 7 years ago

    In my research with the Amish families in a small Amish community I had an opportunity to observe three methods of learning in progress (1. formal education, 2. informal education, and 3. incidental learning).
    As already mentioned, within the one-room school house, grades 1 to 8, informal education was in progress (the three Rs). The children learned English and German languages, because they have to be able to speak both English and German and read both. They must be able to write English also. All church meeting are conducted in  German only. The Amish community I worked with, considered themselves Germans, or a sub-culture of the greater American culture. They considered we outsiders as being "English."
    Considering incidental learning, this kind of learning can take place inside or outside of the formal classroom setting.
    For example, out on the farm, if a bull "cow" attacks you, and you, on your feet, quickly, learn a technique to evade the attack, saving your life, this is incidental learning. It was not learned as part of a formal school curriculum, and it was not planned learning. Also, however, it can be considered informal learning because it occurred outside the classroom.
    I am taking too much time and space with theory, here, so I am going to back off and allow you all to carry out dialogues as you wish. Thank you for allowing me to interject my thoughts here. I am not a great teacher, but I try very hard to be the best that I can be.
    Consider the following question, "how can we use what we know about formal education, informal education, and incidental to help children and adults in our every day worlds?" How do we apply what we know? This is what matters.
    Dr. Haddox

  6. Dr. Haddox profile image60
    Dr. Haddoxposted 7 years ago

    By the way, all of the posts that have been posted thus far by all forum members have been good ones. I have learned from what all of you have said. This is important to me. Thank you, all of you. Dr. Haddox

  7. Dr. Haddox profile image60
    Dr. Haddoxposted 7 years ago

    All the posts have been extremely helpful in our dialogue on formal education, informal education, and incidental learning. It is my hope that we all can say that this experience has been worth our time. Regards. Dr. Haddox

  8. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

    Being an educator myself, I find that some of the greatest methods of effective instruction are by asking relevant, open-ended questions, discussion, working in small teams, hands on, active learning. This works for all age groups. I believe students value education more when their input is respected.
    Passive instruction doesn't work so well in the 21st century.
    Use every teachable moment and realize lessons are only outlines. I think a lot of learning can take place both inside and outside of the classroom.

    1. Dr. Haddox profile image60
      Dr. Haddoxposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Very good, rebekahELLE.
      You are so correct. Thank you so much for your input which will help me and all who are open to your line of thinking. Keep up the good work, and, Happy New Year.
      Dr. Haddox


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)