What is Informal Education? – The Various Types of Education

Education is important because we can hardly learn anything about the world without it. Even stumbling through the dark, without a teacher or school is also a type of education. In order to learn, to develop, we must get educated, but there are plenty of types of education which we can turn to. Some prefer going to school, others learning online, and then the third type just learning as they live. The last one sounds pretty entertaining, and it is, in fact, informal education.

Informal Education – Learning on Your Own

Informal education is a type of education which is almost always done passively. No formal schedule or institution is behind it, thus being far from formal education. It is also not systematic or in any way related to non-formal learning.

What does this mean for a student? It means turning to social media, television, books, radio shows, the internet, for guidance. Informal education can practically teach you anything, yet you would need to find sources yourself, which can often be unreliable.

The Benefits of Informal Education

Informal education is very good at being cost-effective because you often pay for nothing other than an internet connection or other means of exploring the world like television. Schools, tutors, physical copies of books, all those things are unnecessary and a hindrance.

Informal education also means that you can learn as you live, without paying special attention to classes or even think of attending one.

Every day is an experience which can teach you a lot if you pay attention to the details of the said day. The internet is full of guides and things which can help you learn, from cooking to assembling engines and performing first aid. No system is without its disadvantages, however, and informal education has some.

The Disadvantages of Informal Education

We know that the internet has an answer for everything and in that knowledge lies a very big problem. Their answers might not be the correct ones. You can find lots of sources and information which is everything but reliable. Learning some things incorrectly can have consequences in the long run, especially with health-related topics and exercises.

If the learner does not dedicate themselves to learning every day, adapting and evolving, then they will likely have problems. Discipline is a key component of learning, one that is unlikely to be practiced as a part of informal education.

The Best Type of Education

Is there a type that is better? Sure, all of the three types have some benefits and some disadvantages. None of them is better in all the things. A school can teach you a lot of things, including how to socialize and adapt to new environments. Non-formal teaching can give you specific knowledge, from a certified instructor. Informal education is cheap and allows you to explore the world on your own terms.


Formal, informal or non-formal, education is necessary. Choose your own type or types according to your needs and skills.