Informal & Life-long Learning

children in a playroom

We study informal and life-long learning processes that occur outside formal educational settings.

Our work ranges from basic learning research to research/practice partnerships - connecting academic theory and real world practice. We investigate how learning occurs in settings such as the home, the workplace, community organizations, museums, after-school programs, and on-line. In addition to the physical context, we focus on the relationships between learners, mediators, environments, and experiences.

We investigate how informal learning experiences that go beyond the classroom can prepare citizens for changes around them. We are currently conducting climate change education sessions in a number of settings around the state of Pennsylvania. We also focus on field-building and professional development and look at factors such as organizational change. We study the implications of formal school policy on informal organizations and organizational learning, adaptability and change in a host of settings.

Informal learning settings create opportunities to acquire knowledge and strengthen self-management skills in a host of contexts.

Related Research Areas:
Developmental Processes & Outcomes Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment Reasoning, Decision Making, & Argumentation STEM
Related Research Interests:
Community & Family-based Learning Museums/After School programs Professional Learning Research/Practice Partnerships

Researchers Associated with this Area