Similar to Rogers’ learning continuum (2004), Michael Eraut (2000) establishes a matrix to identify varying types of non-formal learning, based on the timing of the stimulus (past, current, future) and the extent to which such learning is implicit, reactive or deliberative.
A key component of the matrix is the intention of the learner’s activity. Eraut makes a distinction between
- Implicit Learning (which has a metacognitive component)
- Deliberative Learning (where the worker schedules time to learn)
- and Reactive Learning (where learning is explicit but almost takes place spontaneously, in response to recent, current or imminent situations but without any time being set aside for it).
I would contend that these categories align closely with Kolb’s 4-Stage Experiential Learning Cycle. Similarly, a link can be made between the synchronous and asynchronous delivery mechanisms, and Eraut’s Timing of Stimulus category.
Table 1 Michael Eraut’s typology of non-formal learning (2000, p.129)
Mode of Cognition
|Time of stimulus||Instant/|
|Past episode(s)||Deliberative||Implicit linkage of past memories with current experience |
|Brief near-spontaneous reflection on past episodes, communications, events, experiences.||Review of past actions, communications, events’ experiences. Systematic reflection.|
|Current experience||Reactive||A selection from experience enters the memory.||Incidental noting of facts, opinions, impressions, ideas. Recognition of learning opportunities.||Engagement in decision making, problem solving, planned informal learning.|
|Future behavior||Metacognitive||Unconscious effect of previous experiences.||Being prepared for emergent learning opportunities.||Planned learning goals. Planned learning opportunities.|
Eraut, M. (2000) Non-formal learning, implicit learning and tacit knowledge, in F. Coffield (Ed) The Necessity of Informal Learning: Policy Press. Bristol
Rogers, A. (2004) Looking again at non-formal and informal education – towards a new paradigm [Internet] Available from: http://www.infed.org/biblio/non_formal_paradigm.htm [Accessed 30th April 2010]