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Formal Education and Informal Education

Education includes the formal and informal experiences that train, discipline, and shape the mental and physical potentials of the maturing person. Sociologists make a distinction between informal and formal education.

Informal education occurs in a spontaneous, unplanned way. Experiences that educate informally occur naturally; someone to stimulate specific thoughts or to impart specific skills does not design them.

Formal education is a purposeful, planned effort to impart specific skills or information. Formal education is a systematic process in which someone designs the educating experiences. Formal education is considered a success when those being instructed acquire the skills, thoughts, and information that those designing the experience seek to impart.