Informal and Post-Modern Theories

Informal theories of education breaks down the learning process, learning authentically and with practicality. One theory deals with whether learning should take place as a building of concepts toward an overall idea, or the understanding of the overall idea with the details filled in later. In Marzano’s restructuring knowledge the informal curriculum promotes the use of prior knowledge to help students gain big ideas and concept understanding. This theory states that new knowledge cannot be told to students, rather student’s current knowledge must be challenged. By challenging student’s current ideas, students can adjust their ideas to more closely resemble actual theories or concepts. By using this method students gain the big idea taught and later are more willing to learn and keep the specifics of the concept or theory taught. This theory further aligns with the studies of Brown and Ryoo, who support that teaching concepts and the language of a subject should be split into multiple steps.

Other informal learning concerns regard sources of motivation for learning. Deci argues that intrinsic motivation creates a more self-regulated learner yet schools undermine intrinsic motivation. This is not ideal for learning. Critics argue that average students learning in isolation perform significantly lower than those learning with collaboration and mediation. Students learn through talk, discussion, and argumentation.