Topic: Informellt lärande •• Informal learning
I really liked this quote:
From "Educating Children at Home" by Alan Thomas, 1998, p. 128/129
Children's implicit and un-acknowledged theory of learning
A small number of parents, recognizing their children had been progressing intellectually throughout the first few years of life, simply continued and extended on what they were already doing. Most others reduced formal learning: a few abandoned it altogether. By no means does this mean that learning is left to chance. Parents still have the role they have had since their children were born, of inducting them into the culture. They accomplish this by extending on what their children already know, introducing new topics and responding to their children’s interests. Much of this occurs incidentally through everyday conversation which, on the surface at least, is perceived as social rather than a means of intellectual growth. Because the conversation is with an adult, the children are able to hone their thinking skills, improve their expression, and increase their vocabulary and general knowledge. It is simply cultural transmission by osmosis rather than through deliberate teaching. Of course, informal learning is not restricted to childhood. Throughout life we are constantly learning informally in the context of everyday activities, at work, socially and at home, again with little awareness that we are actually learning anything.
What are the characteristics of the child’s theory of learning? First there is a general lack of awareness that any specific learning is taking place. Concepts are acquired, skills improved and new knowledge gained during the course of concrete, everyday activities or through other topics which have captured the child’s interest. An activity, from the child’s point of view, may be helping to make cakes, going for a walk, shopping, going out in the car, reading a book, making a house out of cardboard box, and so on. Any learning episodes, in maths, language, science, geography or whatever, are not differentiated, but are simply part and parcel of the concrete activity. They may be integral to the activity, such as maths in shopping and science in cooking, or incidental to it, occurring through social conversations during a walk, in the car, or at mealtimes. Whatever the case, from the child’s point of view, it is the activity that is paramount. The intellectual element goes unnoticed. Learning is therefore contextualized in a way it rarely is in formal lessons.