Education is one of the most essential aspects of modern-day life. Without it, many of our social problems would still persist. It helps us become responsible citizens and enables us to participate effectively in our society. Without it, our society would also slowly disappear into the monotony of uniformity and mass ignorance.
In education, the learning process includes teaching, coaching, learning by doing, training, demonstration, practice and supervised research. The process also involves the evaluation of the learning process, assessment of students’ progress and feedback on student efforts. There are four key stages in the learning process; namely, formal, non-formal education, informal education and post-secondary education. The other stages are also important, but form only a part of the overall education system.
A formal education is usually achieved at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. At the primary level, children receive formal teaching from teachers who have received formal education and often from parents who have passed the relevant certification. Elementary school is the first stage in the learning process, lasting between kindergarten and grade six. During this stage, children are taught reading, writing, spelling, primary science, geography, counting, math, history, English, and social science. At this stage, children generally have begun to acquire some of the basic skills that are essential for their future social interaction and education.
Formal education is structured in classes and lessons that occur in classrooms. Classroom-based teaching methods are based on theory and practical application. Lessons typically cover scientific, historical, socio-economic, philosophical and ethical considerations. They also teach children self-reflection, self-awareness and problem solving. Teachers also use modeling to enhance student learning process and to increase their awareness of their surrounding environment. Professional development and professional skills are also taught at this level.
Informal education is delivered in its various forms at home and through community groups. It can be informal through word of mouth or online discussion groups. Informal does not have a set curriculum and is typically about individual interests. Students learn by observation and through free association, developing their own intelligence and intuition, while expanding their social network through peer support and group activity.
Learning through these various forms of informal are the building blocks of responsible citizenship. In this system of learning students are not only able to learn by doing, they also are able to learn by seeing and reflecting. This kind of education model empowers students to decide for themselves and to be the makers of their own futures. As they continue in their learning process, students begin to realize that they have control over their future by controlling their thinking, expressing their self-worth and developing their own sense of worth.