Author: wiki-Education

Informal learning can be imparted at various places including home, work place. It can also be imparting in your day to day interactions and intermingling within the society. This form of education has also been included in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). Informal learning often includes mastering the language and cultural norms, rituals and mannerisms. It is often an ongoing process which can be done after school. It is also imparted in youth programs at community centers as well as in media labs.

Informal learning modules never follow a specific curriculum. They may take place occasionally depending on the need of the hour. The training is not always systematic and subject specific. Instead it is more or less incidental and uses a holistic approach to the issue. Informal education is known to be effective in situation management and is apt for life studies. This form of education is often on the spot and not planned. It is rightly called a ‘natural’ function. In the early 19th century the idea of ‘education through recreation’ gained wide precedence. The 20th century witnessed the inclusion of young adults to this idea. However the focus was mainly on physical activities. According to L.P. Jacks, education through recreation is: “A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself he always seems to be doing both. Enough for him that he does it well.”

Education through recreation is a concept where the student can master things by gaining inspiration from everyday activities. This concept has inspired the University of Western Ontario and presently it makes use of this concept to impart anatomy training to its students.

The last 20 years has witnessed a rising interest in the various learning styles and variations. Some of them have been listed below:

• Visual: This means more and more emphasis on observation and visually mastering the content.
• Auditory: This indicates the ability to follow the instructions being read out or broadcast.
• Kinesthetic: this indicates the learning which is based on the movement. Essentially this style focuses on activities to learn the skills.

There are many other styles and modulations such as musical, verbal, interpersonal, intrapersonal and logical methodologies.

Dunn and Dunn stressed on finding relevant stimuli which was likely to have an influence on the learning process and which would manipulate the environment of the school. Simultaneously Joseph Renzulli too suggested frequently changing the teaching strategies. Multiple modalities have been listed in the Multiple Intelligence Theories by Howard Gardner. Jung’s research has influenced the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter which stress on identifying the manner in which a person’s personality has an impact on their personal interactions and how this also has an influence on the way people respond to one another in the learning environment. David Kolb and Anthony Gregorc too have devised a much simpler Type Delineator which is quite effective and useful.

There is a divided opinion about the preferred learning styles and methodology. Some theories suggest that all the people gain from various learning modalities. On the other hand some other theories suggest that often individuals prefer selected learning styles and are more comfortable learning via visual and kinesthetic methodologies. As a result of this theory, it is believed that ideal and result oriented teaching needs to impart education using various teaching methods which focus on mastering all the learning modalities, thus giving all the students equal chances to master the skills in an effective and efficient manner. Guy Claxton has expressed doubts about the extent in which such learning styles like VAK are useful and beneficial, especially as they often tend to categorize students and limit their learning abilities. Research conducted recently has revealed that there is no specific proved to justify the need to incorporate various learning style assessments in the general educational practice.

Indigenous education includes the ability to assimilate indigenous knowledge, models as well as methods from formal as well as non formal educational systems. Colonialism has resulted in the loss and corruption of knowledge and language skills. Preventive measures need to be taken and thus, indigenous communities gave rise to this form of education in a bid to get back their language and culture. This helps in enhancing the education levels of indigenous students.

Alternative education has been in existence since ancient times. During the formative years of the public school system in the 19th century, many parents were unhappy with the system. This gave rise to a new form of education known as alternative education. It was aimed to overcome the limitations and drawbacks of traditional education. This gave rise to a wide range of educational approaches such as self learning, alternative schools, home schooling and unshcooling as well. Montessori schools, Krishnamurti schools,

The Peepal Grove School, Waldorf schools (or Steiner schools), Sands School, Summerhill School, Friends schools, Sudbury Valley School, and open classroom schools are all examples of such alternative education systems.

However there is ample of scope for these ideas to be included in mainstream education system. This can be seen in the changes made to the kindergarten approach. Kindergarten was the brainchild of Friedrich Frobel from Germany. Similarly many qualified and talented writers have paved the way for the modern education system to take its present form. Thinkers and writers such as Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Amos Bronson, Alcott, Ralf Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau et al have all contributed to the education system in a big way.

Other notable names include Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, John Caldwell Holt, Paul Goodman and others.

Educational psychology refers to the study of the manner in which human beings learn in educational settings. They also focus on evaluating the efficiency of educational assistance and intervention. Educational psychology also studies the psychology of teaching as well as the social impact of schools as organizations. Prima face, the terms educational psychology and school psychology may seem almost the same, there is a thin line separating these two. All researchers & theorists fall under the category of educational psychologists while people who practice in schools or similar settings fall under the category of school psychologists. The main aim of educational psychology is to gain insight into the process of attaining education for kids belonging to various strata including children with disabilities and specially gifted kids as well.

In order to understand educational psychology better it needs to be related to other disciplines as well. It makes use of the basic fundamental principles of psychology and in turn aids in the understanding of various specialties related to educational sciences such as instructional modeling, developing the content, educational technology, imparting special education, organizational theories and gaining insights into classroom management. There is a lot of knowledge sharing between educational psychology and cognitive as well as learning sciences. Most universities have departments of educational psychology however they are limited to the faculties of education themselves and this is one of the reason for proper representation of educational psychology content in basic and preliminary level books of psychological studies.

In the academic sense philosophy can be defined as, “the philosophical study of education and its problems, its central subject matter is education, and its methods are those of philosophy”. People often consider philosophy of education to be the philosophy of the process of education. However some people also think of it as the philosophy of the discipline of education often relating to the goals, forms, means and methodologies or even the outcome and efficiency of the process of teaching & learning. At times it is also considered to be metadisciplinary as it revolves round the formulation and clarity of concepts, goals and methodologies of the discipline. In a wider sense, it is actually included in the field of education as well as applied philosophy. It validates its theories by seeking insights from various fields such as metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology and complements it with philosophical approaches like speculation, perception and analysis. This wider approach aims to answer queries related to pedagogy. They also help in any queries and reservations which may arise in the formulation of education policies, syllabus and the actual process of learning as well. For instance, it often observes and conducts extensive research on the various factors detrimental to positive upbringing & education. Besides this it also focuses on the various value systems and norms which are the result of our upbringing and education. It also highlights the limitations of education and tries to ensure that education is legitimized as an academic stream and the theory & practice goes hand in hand.

Instruction often refers to the process of facilitating another person’s learning process. Instructors who train in primary schools as well as secondary institutions are mostly addressed as teachers and they mainly work on the reading and writing skills besides imparting knowledge of math, science as well as history. In the post secondary institutions too instructors are addressed as teachers. However they are also known as instructors or professors based on the type of institution they are associated with. Their training is more specific and limited to a particular discipline. Research conducted by US has revealed that the quality of the instructors is one of the most detrimental factors which have an impact on the performance of the student. The study also revealed that nations which topped in international tests have robust policies to make sure that the instructors they have appointed are able to deliver effective training. The passing of No Child Left Behind program of US has ensured that all the teachers need to be well qualified. One of the most used forms of evaluation of the teacher’s performance is to make students evaluate the teachers (SETS). However these evaluations are often biased and are known to have many flaws.

It is often believed that high cost of education is the means by which various nations are able to maintain high levels of economic growth. Besides, empirical analyses also supports the belief that poor nations need to grow much more rapidly as compared to richer nations as they will be able to master and reuse the new technologies which are already used by rich nations. But in order to remain competitive, it is important to have qualified and competent managers and engineers who will be able to handle the new technology and implement the new trends effectively. Hence, a nation’s capability to master from leading nations also depends on its ‘human capital’. Surveys and studies in this direction have revealed the significance of fundamental economic institutions and the importance of mastering cognitive skills.

At an individual level, there is a lot of information and content about the work of Jacob Mincer regarding the manner in which earning is connected to schooling and similar human capital. This has inspired various studies, albeit this work is rife with controversies. One of the main controversies was regarding the manner in which the impact of schooling could be interpreted accurately. At times students with great learning potential and having a very high IQ level are not able to get optimum academically due to financial constraints.

In the year 1976 two well known economists Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis stated that there was an ongoing conflict in American schools due to the democratic, equality based goals and the discrepancies indicated by the ongoing profitability of capitalist productions.

Curriculum often refers to the various courses and their syllabus which is offered at various schools and universities. The word curriculum has Latin origin and means race course. It is referred to as the idea of the course of tasks and experiences that are used to nurture the kids to morph into better and mature adults. The curriculum has a perspective scope often referring to a generalized syllabus which only mentions the list of topics that are to be covered and mastered in order to reach a specific standard or grade.

Curriculum is an academic discipline too, which includes formal training at universities or through similar means. All the disciplines are further divided into branches, but there is a thin line distinguishing them from each other. Natural sciences, math, computer sciences, social and applied science, humanities and others are popular instances of academic disciplines.
Some educational institutions also include fine arts in the content of the K-12 grade educational criteria. They are also offered as part of electives in colleges as well as universities. Music, dance as well as theatre are some well known forms of fine arts.