Non-formal education

Non-formal education

"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)

Non-formal education in youth work is a specific educational concept that goes beyond the formal education system, in a simplified way out of school. It allows participants to supplement or deepen their already acquired education. Great emphasis is placed on a holistic approach; education therefore 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. Important features of non-formal learning are, for example, the frequent use of interactive methods, the importance of both individual and group learning, sharing experiences or learning from mistakes. The role of the manager is not superior to the participants (the participant is not just the listener and the recipient of the information).

According to both the European Commission and the Council of Europe, the education system consists of three interconnected components:

  1. Formal education refers to a structured education system that includes all schools from elementary to university, including specialized vocational and vocational training programs.
  2. Non-formal education applies to all planned personal and social education programs for young people to develop a range of skills and competences beyond the formal curriculum.
  3. Non-formal learning refers to a lifetime in which each individual acquires certain attitudes, values, skills and knowledge under the influence of various 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.).

Formal and non-formal learning and informal learning should be inspired and complemented to bring together a viable and evolving lifelong learning process that will motivate individuals to personal and professional development.

Source: Compass - Manual for Youth Education for Human Rights