Education refers to the process by which people acquire knowledge, skills, ideas, principles, morals, values, skills, and attitudes. The ultimate goal of education is to enable people to live their lives according to those values. In fact, education has been called the foundation of modern government. Since ancient times, education has been used to promote reasoning, creativity, self-awareness, integrity, social capital, leadership, and teamwork. Most education experts agree that in a democratic, pluralistic, and egalitarian society, school systems and colleges provide the greatest opportunity for children to develop healthy and productive personalities and to achieve their full potential.
Education is described as a process wherein people are reinforced or rewarded for their efforts in learning. Formal education is the process by which students acquire knowledge, skills, concepts, teaching methods and learning objectives from teachers and other learners. Courses are taught during formal education. Informal education on the other hand, occurs through a combination of formal and informal learning process. In formal education, students and teachers gather information and share it through lectures, presentations, discussions, and activities; while informal education occurs through daily experiences and informal practices such as games, sports, social media interaction, conversation, improvisation, monitoring, self-awareness, personal reflection and evaluation, etc.
Informal education refers to the quality of acquiring knowledge and supporting learning through practices, platforms, and tools that do not constitute the major part of the curriculum or instruction of a given curriculum or learning objective. An informal education system can include activities that can be completed by teachers, learners, parents, and other individuals who can support the learner. It can also incorporate the social media, the Internet, technology, and other forms of communication that are becoming crucial in today’s society. In fact, it is becoming the norm and practice of most educators today.
Social media is one such platform that can facilitate informal education. This includes the use of blogs, online discussion boards, micro-blogging websites, video sharing, discussion forums, news announcements, message boards, and wikis. Such sites as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace allow teachers, learners, parents, and other individuals who can support the learner, to exchange experiences, thoughts, and ideas. This learning process goes beyond classroom instruction by giving more opportunities for people to engage with each other in a more informal way.
However, not all learners want to share their ideas or experiences. For them, education is primarily concerned about conformity to the goals of certain groups. As a result, there are some people who prefer to have a more private approach in acquiring knowledge or educating themselves. In this case, the concept of individuality plays a crucial role. An individual aim is basically a set of personal goals and aims that an individual may want to achieve. The aim does not conform to the educational aims.
John Dewey rightly pointed out that the concept of individuality has become the victim of a powerful and advancing global culture that privileges group interests above individual aims. However, continual reconstructive interventions need to be made in education if it is to survive as a positive force in society. It is through social interaction that learning is facilitated. Therefore, in spite of the developments taking place today, education remains a valuable practice. Continued efforts by educators in promoting social interaction will ensure that the benefits of education will be more widely experienced by tomorrow’s generation.