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The interrelationships between informal and formal learning

Janice Malcolm (Janice Malcolm is Lecturer in Continuing Education, at the School of Continuing Education, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. She is also a member of the University’s Lifelong Learning Institute.)
Phil Hodkinson (Phil Hodkinson is Chair of Lifelong Learning and current Director of the Institute, at the School of Continuing Education, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. He is also a member of the University’s Lifelong Learning Institute.)
Helen Colley (Helen Colley is Senior Research Fellow, at the School of Continuing Education, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK and also a member of the University’s Lifelong Learning Institute.)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 1 December 2003

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Abstract

This paper summarises some of the analysis and findings of a project commissioned to investigate the meanings and uses of the terms formal, informal and non‐formal learning. Many texts use these terms without any clear definition, or employ conflicting definitions and boundaries. The paper therefore proposes an alternative way of analysing learning situations in terms of attributes of formality and informality. Applying this analysis to a range of learning contexts, one of which is described, suggests that there are significant elements of formal learning in informal situations, and elements of informality in formal situations; the two are inextricably inter‐related. The nature of this inter‐relationship, the ways it is written about and its impact on learners and others, are closely related to the organisational, social, cultural, economic, historical and political contexts in which the learning takes place. The paper briefly indicates some of the implications of our analysis for theorising learning, and for policy and practice.

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Citation

Malcolm, J., Hodkinson, P. and Colley, H. (2003), "The interrelationships between informal and formal learning", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 15 No. 7/8, pp. 313-318. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665620310504783

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited