student learns all the time, both with us and despite us" (Ewell, 1997a, p. 4).
Informal learning is implicit learning, which means it is derived from "direct
interaction . . . and a range of cues given by peers and [instructors] that go well beyond what is
explicitly being 'taught'" (Ewell, 1997b, p.7).
of Observable Behaviors
1. Implicit learning (Ewell, 1997b, p.7): Learning
occur in any life situation;
opportunities to learn often
are not school-based. They may
occur in addition to
the content being taught. The
student has the ability to
recognize and to make sense out
of a learning situation
that is not
necessarily conducted within a classroom.
___ 2. Field trips (Bransford, Brown, & Cooking,
21): The student interacts with
the environment with the
purpose of exploring and learning.
___ 3. Learning centers (Bransford et al., 1999,
centers created within
the community, students can
apply and practice
___ 4. Apprenticeship (Ewell, 1997b, p.7): The student
from exposure to and the
supervision of a mentor,
for example, in job shadowing and
Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cooking, R.(Eds.). (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind,
experience, and school. National Academy of Sciences [On-line]. Available: http://bob.nap.edu/html/howpeople1/
Ewell, P. T.
(1997a, December). Organizing for learning: A
new imperative. AAHE Bulletin, 50(4), 3-6.
[2000, May 17].
Ewell, P. T. (1997b).
Organizing for learning: A point of entry. Draft prepared for discussion at the
1997 AAHE Summer Academy at Snowbird. National
Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). Available: http://www.intime.uni.edu/model/learning/learn_summary.html
popular learning center for early childhood classrooms is a housekeeping center.
To create a housekeeping center, a teacher sets aside a certain area in the classroom to
create a setting that may resemble students' home environment.
The area is filled with familiar materials, furniture, and tools. Objects that are not so
easily recognized may also be included. The students
are given the opportunity to work in small groups in the space to learn to manipulate and properly
use all of these tools. They will often use a
trial-and-error method to complete their task until they are successful.
In this setting, students informally learn how to interact socially and learn about the
processes that occur in a household environment as well as the workings of household tools.
Martin, T. (2000). Informal learning example. INTIME
Project: Preparing tomorrow's teachers to use technology. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern