Validating informal and non formal learning
As stated on the non-formal learning page, non-formal learning can be seen in various structured learning situations, such as swimming lessons, community-based sports programs and conference style seminars. (2007) state: "Informal learning, Schugurensky (2000) suggests, has its own internal forms that are important to distinguish in studying the phenomenon.
He proposes three forms: self-directed learning, incidental learning, and socialization, or tacit learning.
At first, informal learning was only delimited from formal school learning and nonformal learning in courses (Coombs/Achmed 1974).
Marsick and Watkins take up this approach and go one step further in their definition.
These differ among themselves in terms of intentionality and awareness at the time of the learning experience. More recently, Bennett (2012) extended Schugurenksky's (2000) conceptualization of informal by recommending four modes of informal learning: a) self-directed, which is conscious and intentional, b) incidental, which is conscious and unintentional, c) tacit, which replaces socialization and is both nonconscious and unintentional, and d) integrative, which is nonconscious and intentional.
Learning occurs through socialization processes in one's culture and community.
It is also widely used when referring to science education, in relation to citizen science, or informal science education.