Differences Between Formal Vs Informal Education

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Education comes in many forms. There is formal education, which takes place in a school or other institution, and informal education, which is any learning that takes place outside of a formal setting. Both types of education have their benefits, but there are some key differences between them. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between formal and informal education. We will look at the pros and cons of each type of education, and we will also discuss which type of education might be best for you. So, let’s get started.

Formal education takes place in a classroom setting, under the guidance of a teacher or professor. It typically involves acquiring knowledge through textbooks and lectures. In contrast, informal education occurs outside of the traditional classroom setting, often through self-directed learning or mentorships. There is no set curriculum, and students learn based on their interests and

The definition of formal education is “education that is systematic and organized, typically by a school, college, or university.” Formal education can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The definition of informal education is “education that is not systematic and organized.” Informal education has been around for as long as humans have been learning. The two systems of education are quite different from each other. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between formal and informal education.

Comparison between Formal and Informal Education

Parameters of Comparison  FormalInformal
AcademicAcademicNon academic
LargeHard lessonEasy lesson
Take placeInside the classroomOutside the classroom
ExamSit for the examNot sit for the exam
BooksHave booksDo not have books

What is Formal Education?

Formal education is the process of receiving an organized body of knowledge from a teacher who has been trained in the subject matter. Formal education can be obtained from multiple sources, such as textbooks, lectures, and research papers. The level of formality ranges from informal on-the-job training to fully accredited degree programs. Formal education is often institutionally based and may encompass a wide range of subjects including humanities, sciences, mathematics, and engineering. 

Formal Education Definition: “Formal Education” refers to a structured way that people learn how to do something or acquire information about some topic. Typically formal learning takes place in school or at work where someone teaches others about something they know well.

Differences Between Formal Vs Informal Education

What is Informal Education?

Informal education is a term used to describe the wide range of educational opportunities that occur outside the traditional school setting. These include academic and vocational learning as well as leisure, recreation, and hobbies. Informal education can be provided by formal institutions such as libraries or museums, but it also occurs in homes and neighborhoods where children learn from one another through interaction with family members, friends, neighbors, or classmates. 

Informal education has been around for as long as humans have been able to learn. It is the unofficial and unstructured learning that we do every day, in addition to our formal education. This type of learning includes everything from playing tag with friends to watching documentaries for fun. While it may not be counted in our official education, informal education is an important part of who we are and how we learn. In this post, we’ll explore what informal education is, why it matters, and some examples of how it can benefit us.

Differences Between Formal Vs Informal Education

10 Differences Between Formal and Informal Education

1. Formal education is more academic whereas informal education is less focused on academics.

2. Informal education usually takes place outside of the classroom, while formal education happens in a classroom setting.

3. Informal educators are not required to be certified or licensed, but formal educators must meet certain qualifications.

4. Students can participate in informal educations at any point during their lifetime, but students must attend formal schooling for a specific number of years before they graduate.

5. There are no set hours for informal educations, but there are set hours for formal schools.

6. School subjects taught through an informal educational system may change depending on student interest and needs; school subjects taught through a formal educational system will always stay the same.

7. Formal education is often focused on the learning of facts and knowledge, whereas informal education focuses more on developing skills.

8. Informal education may be less structured than formal educational settings.

9. Informal education can be done at anytime and anywhere as long as it is completed before the deadline; formal educations typically only happen during designated periods.

10. Informal educators are not required to have any type of degree or certification; formal educators must meet certain requirements such as degrees and certifications.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Formal Education

1. According to the College Board, in 2017-2018, there were 3,788 colleges and universities in the US.

2. The average cost of a private university is $34,740 per year.

3. In 2011-2012, 14% of high school graduates attended college immediately after graduation.

4. There are over 1 million students enrolled at Harvard University every semester.

5. More than 50% of Bachelor’s degrees awarded by public institutions were from women.

6. Women make up 47% of all undergraduate students nationwide.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Informal Education

1. In the United States, there are more than 5 million homeschooled students.

2. A study from 2007 found that home-educated children have a higher literacy rate and a lower dropout rate.

3. The average cost of teaching one student in a public school is $10,000 per year.

4. Homeschooling can be done on any budget – some parents use only materials they already own or buy used books from thrift stores or yard sales to save money.

5. A recent survey by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 83% of homeschoolers said their education was better than what they would have received at a public school.

6. Home-schooled students typically score 10 to 30 percentile points above the national average on standardized tests.


Some people think that formal education is more valuable than informal education. What are the benefits of both? The Benefits of Formal Education-Formal educations, which can be obtained in schools and colleges, provides a structured environment for learning. This type of schooling usually comes with strict guidelines on what to learn and when to take exams or quizzes. Students have someone else tell them what they need to know at specific points in time rather than being left up to their own devices as they figure it out on their own. Informal Education: In contrast, an informal education typically takes place outside of school settings without any set schedule or requirements for completion while still providing knowledge about various topics through self-directed studies such as reading books or watching documentaries.


Resource 01: https://www.througheducation.com/the-different-types-of-informal-education/
Resource 02: https://www.passionineducation.com/types-of-education-formal-informal-non-formal/

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