THE IMPACT OF INFORMAL EDUCATION

Boncescu, Diana Elena (2014) THE IMPACT OF INFORMAL EDUCATION. In: Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, May, Sarajevo.

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Official URL: http://fltal.ibu.edu.ba/

Abstract

Informal education exceeds formal education both in impact and duration; therefore, it is important that educators take it into consideration in their effort to improve school performance. There are numerous activities that occur in a person's everyday life and offer opportunities for informal learning, shaping the individual from the cultural, cognitive and social point of view. The two main sources of informal education remain the family and the mass-media. However, the quality and the quantity of the mass-media intake are directly dependent on the social, economic and educational level of the family, especially in rural areas, where the other sub-environments, friends, community and society, are less productive in terms of influence, due to the strong boundaries that isolate the individual within the nucleus family. The outcome of a limiting environment translates mainly into reduced creative capacity and communication skills, a limited vocabulary and biased information input. Taking all these into account, I conducted a qualitative and quantitative research on students from a rural Secondary School in Romania. Firstly, I performed a number of eight activities in class with the 6th and the 8th graders. Secondly, I applied a questionnaire to the same students in order to establish whether their family environment acts as a stimulus or, on a contrary, as a limit. The findings led me to the conclusion that equal chances to education are possible only theoretically, from the perspective of the formal education. However, informal education open or closes the door to success, leaving it in the hands of the educators to try and fill the gap. The purpose of the present paper is to shift the attention of the educators from the formal and non formal education and to deconstruct the fallacious idea that informal education, consisting of spontaneous influences, does not have a direct impact on the students in terms of knowledge and skills acquisition. Given the challenges brought upon educators by the differences in response and results of children and students with various cultural, economic and social backgrounds, the theoretical, as well as the practical approach on education have to change in order to fit to the realities of the contemporary society. The paper contains two parts, one concerned with a general theoretical framework while the other presents a case study designed in order to establish the impact of informal influences on school performance. The findings are to be considered as possible grounds for further research attempts on a larger national and even international scale.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Mrs. Emina Mekic
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 13:30
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2016 13:30
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/3383

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