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Formal and informal education

As already mentioned, education is not solely concerned with the basic academic concepts that a student learns in the classroom. Societies also educate their children, outside of the school system, in matters of everyday practical living. These two types of learning are referred to as formal education and informal education.

Formal education describes the learning of academic facts and concepts through a formal curriculum. Arising from the tutelage of ancient Greek thinkers, centuries of scholars have examined topics through formalized methods of learning. Education in earlier times was only available to the higher classes; they had the means for access to scholarly materials, plus the luxury of leisure time that could be used for learning. The Industrial Revolution and its accompanying social changes made education more accessible to the general population. Many families in the emerging middle class found new opportunities for schooling.

The modern U.S. educational system is the result of this progression. Today, basic education is considered a right and responsibility for all citizens. Expectations of this system focus on formal education, with curricula and testing designed to ensure that students learn the facts and concepts that society believes are basic knowledge.

In contrast, informal education    describes learning about cultural values, norms, and expected behaviors by participating in a society. This type of learning occurs both through the formal education system and at home. Our earliest learning experiences generally happen via parents, relatives, and others in our community. Through informal education, we learn how to dress for different occasions, how to perform regular life routines like shopping for and preparing food, and how to keep our bodies clean.

A woman and young boy in the kitchen frosting cookies.
Parents teaching their children to cook provide an informal education. (Photo courtesy of eyeliam/flickr)

Cultural transmission refers to the way people come to learn the values, beliefs, and social norms of their culture. Both informal and formal education include cultural transmission. For example, a student will learn about cultural aspects of modern history in a U.S. History classroom. In that same classroom, the student might learn the cultural norm for asking a classmate out on a date through passing notes and whispered conversations.

Access to education

Another global concern in education is universal access    . This term refers to people’s equal ability to participate in an education system. On a world level, access might be more difficult for certain groups based on class or gender (as was the case in the United States earlier in the nation’s history, a dynamic we still struggle to overcome). The modern idea of universal access arose in the United States as a concern for people with disabilities. In the United States, one way in which universal education is supported is through federal and state governments covering the cost of free public education. Of course, the way this plays out in terms of school budgets and taxes makes this an often-contested topic on the national, state, and community levels.

Questions & Answers

general laws and particular laws
Faheem Reply
genral law which opoint or relate the national society particular laws which base on some or one society
Muhmmad
what is culture?
NYAPSON Reply
Culture is that complex whole which include knowledge, beliefs, arts moral, custom, religion, law aquared by mam as a member of society
Md
what are the branches of sociology and their differences
Bashir Reply
is sociology a science?
Bashir
What is politic
sani Reply
the act of being sensible and judicious in circumstances
Packra
branhes k of sociology
Jafari
think why Nietzsche was so concerned about the loss of religion for society and weather God exists. what social function does religion perform which are so vital for society
tarawallie Reply
response of human illnesse in nigeria
Hassan Reply
Analyse the social responses to mental illness in Nigeria
Hassan
Deviance what couses
Khadija Reply
low or high regulation
Dar
deviance is an illegal activities are murder, theft etc
Muhmmad
Please can we answer this question Is the family in the state of crisis?
Nora
yeah
Muhmmad
Are the vertical/horizontal classication of family
isah
different classical theories and neoclassical theories
Waziri Reply
what is socialogy
Andrew Reply
It is the scientific study of society
Muhmmad
Thank you
Andrew
Sociology is the science of social institution
Beauty
sociology have alot of difinition one of them is d study of society is sociology
pakhtoon
thanks
Muhmmad
who is called the father of sociology ?
Ajaz
Auguste Comte
Md
park and burgers:sociology is a science of collective behaviour
Sofi
ibn khaldun
sani
Auguse Cumte
saleh
What is collective behaviour?
Khalid
interpretative understanding of social action
Dar
sociology has the tendency to break into all aspect of social human discipline.
Bashir
and is a scientific study of human society
Bashir
saleh# it is Auguste comte
Tagar
discuss and explain the word sociology
aaron Reply
Search and find out biblical passage(s) which encourage Christian to engage in business enterprise.
Emmanuel Reply
why should a teacher study sociology
Owen Reply
The process of social change in the Caribbean society can not be analyzed using the major macro European paradigm as they ignore the carribean’s reality, to what extent is this statement true?
Alivia Reply
Search and find out biblical passage(s) which encourage Christian to engage in business enterprise.
Emmanuel
yes
Muhmmad
What is the Caribbean society like?
Joseph
And what is this Caribbean reality being ignored?
Joseph
Where can a person with sociology certificates work
Enum Reply
What are the General Conception of Sociology
Maryam
study of society
Dar
What are the importance of medical sociology on health
Ha-ati Reply
I don't know
Matheus

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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