Non-School Education

Recognizing and contributing to non-school education is a major mission of the IDEA Consortium. Stories and the books that capture stories often exist apart from schools. Whether the content is fiction or non-fiction, stories are a foundation for educational experience. Libraries, museums, churches, synagogues, mosques have long been recognized for their educational roles and may or may not be associated with or connected to schools. These institutions are frequently the stimulus, origin or source for the formation of schools. Recreational activities and sports are loosely connected to schools in some locations but mostly take place outside the formalities of school-based learning. Less connected and often disregarded as elements of education are media including television, radio, motion pictures and, recently, the Internet.

Education Ecology seeks to refine and define these non-school elements and how they contribute to learning experiences throughout life. What difference do they make to individuals and to groups?

Listing non-school influences on education could go on and on, Here are a few::

  • Museums are repositories of stories and the artifacts supporting stories.
  • Electronic Media and particularly television
  • The Internet. 
  • Environmental Organizations
  • Business Organizations - Corporations from local to multinational. 
  • Religious Organizations
  • Government Agencies
  • Non-profit "Think Tanks"

Education & Experience.

Experience and education are often linked with the phrase or title "Experiential Education". This partially begs a question regarding the distinction between experience and education. Admittedly there is a fuzzy border.

  • Does one experience education?
  • How does an experience become an education?

"Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't." Pete Seeger.

The School Environment

In this section I want to identify the essential elements of "school". These essentials include:

  • Space & Place. Virtual school is an oxymoron.
  • Curriculum. A program of what is to be taught. Prescription or prescriptions for instruction. Curriculum tends to be linear.
  • Assessment. Measurements of learning.
  • Grade. Steps identifying advancement and placement within the curriculum.
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