In youth work, it is understood as a specific concept of education that goes beyond a formal education system, in a simplified way out of school. It allows participants to supplement or deepen their acquired education independently of formal education, which represents all schools from nursery to high.We call it educational programs and activities with clear predetermined learning objectives that involve active and voluntary involvement of participants throughout the educational process. Great emphasis is placed on a holistic approach where education focuses not only on new knowledge but also on the development of skills and attitudes, and develops man as a whole personality, including his emotions and values. Program participation under the heading of non-formal education means that you are going through a non-formal learning process. For example, the use of interactive methods is often important, the importance of both individual and group learning, sharing experiences or learning with misconceptions, the role of a leader is not superior to the participants (the participant is not just the listener and the recipient of the information). The most widespread definition of non-formal learning in youth work in the European context is the definition by Professor Lynne Chrisholm, who has been working on the academic field for many years on the subject of non-formal education and learning.
"Non-formal learning is an intentional but voluntary learning that takes place in a variety of different environments and situations where teaching, training and learning do not necessarily have to be the sole or main area of activity. These environments or situations may be temporary or alternate, and professional learning facilitators (eg youth instructors), as well as volunteers (eg youth group leaders), may be involved in relevant activities or courses. Activities and courses are scheduled but rarely structured as traditional lessons or lessons. "
(Lynne Chrisholm, Bridges for Recognition 2005)
According to both the European Commission and the Council of Europe, the education system consists of three interconnected components:
- Formal educationrefers to a structured education system that includes all schools from elementary to university, including specialized vocational and vocational training programs.
- Non-formal educationapplies to all planned personal and social education programs for young people to develop a range of skills and competences beyond the formal curriculum.
- Non-formal learningrefers to a lifetime in which each individual acquires certain attitudes, values, skills and knowledge under the influence of different educational resources in their surroundings and from everyday experience (from home, from the neighborhood, from the library, from the media, from the experience gained at work , playing, etc.).
Source: Compass - Manual for Youth Education for Human Rights