Subject: Non Formal Learning Environments

Scientific Area:



27 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Considered that the audience is made up of teachers, social educators, educational administrators, other professionals interested in further education issues, this course aims that are capable of the following: Understand the differences between non­formal and formal learning environments;
2 - Understand the nature of informal learning;
3 - Understand learning as a cultural phenomenon;
4 - Understand the relationships between learning, autonomy and empowerment;
5 - Understand the concept of situated learning;
6 - Understand the concept of learning throughout life;
7 - Identify and describe non­formal environments and their potential for promoting learning;
8 - Relate the concepts of informal learning and lifelong learning;
9 - Relate the concepts of informal learning and formal education;
10 - Find in non­formal environments inspiration for the redesign of formal settings.


1 - Social learning environments;
2 - Informal learning;
3 - Cultural foundations of learning;
4 - Learning as a secondary phenomenon of social interaction;
5 - Autonomous learning and learner empowerment;
6 - Situated learning, from the perspective of Lave and Wenger;
7 - Learning throughout life (lifelong learning);
8 - Non­formal learning environments: family, cultural and / or sports associations; NGOs; voluntary organizations, etc .;
9 - Non­formal settings as inspiring formal learning environments;
10 - Informal learning environments and permanent education (Faure report);
11 - Formal and non­formal education.


Lave, J. e Wenger, E. , 1991 , Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation , Cambridge USA: Cambridge University Press
McDermott R., Snyder W. M. & Wenger E. , 2002 , Cultivating Communities of Practice , Boston: Harvard Business School Press
Batsleer J. R. , 2008 , Informal Learning in Youth Work , London: Sage
Faure, E. , 1974 , Aprender a ser , Lisboa: Bertrand
Cross, J , 2007 , Informal Learning ­ Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance , San Francisco: Pfeiffer
Garrick, J , 1998 , Informal Learning in the Workplace ­ Unmasking human resource development , London: Routledge
Li, J. , 2012 , Cultural Foundations of Learning ­ east and west , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Richardson, L. D & Wolfe M , 2001 , Principles and Practice of Informal Education ­ Learning through life , Oxon: Routledge Falmer
Rogers, A. , 2005 , Non­Formal Education ­ Flexible Schooling or Participatory Education? , Hong Kong: Kluwer Academic Publishers

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
nitially, several key concepts of the course are exposed, with multimedia support, short texts reading, and group and plenary discussions. As the next step, students are asked to identify and visit non­formal learning environments, on which they willpresent small reports, supported by the recommended bibliography. In addition to participating in these activities, students must submit an individual work written as an academic article, as necessary training for the further elaboration of the dissertation.