We have come to this world to accept it, not merely to know it. We may become powerful by knowledge, but we attain fullness by sympathy. The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence. But we find that this education of sympathy is not only systematically ignored in schools, but it is severely repressed. From our very childhood habits are formed and knowledge is imparted in such a manner that our life is weaned away from nature and our mind and the world are set in opposition from the beginning of our days. Thus the greatest of educations for which we came prepared is neglected, and we are made to lose our world to find a bagful of information instead. We rob the child of his earth to teach him geography, of language to teach him grammar. His hunger is for the Epic, but he is supplied with chronicles of facts and dates…Child-nature protests against such calamity with all its power of suffering, subdued at last into silence by punishment.
Rabindranath Tagore, Personality,1917: 116-17 excerpt@infed
infed is the big dog of web sites about informal learning so its subtitle:
The Informal Education Homepage is aptly singular. If all learning is experiential, to separate informal learning from formal learning is to draw a fairly clear dividing line at a structural level.
From there, things get complicated. This dry article (non-formal learning: mapping the conceptual terrain. a consultation report @infed nevertheless makes some necessary distinctions; it’s a keeper.
In its encyclopedia of thinkers and themes, one of infed’s strengths is it’s concise treatment of expansive subject matter. The pages on reflection and andragogy are prime examples. infed’s scope is obvious from the outlineof its sitemap. infed isn’t comprehensive. Its only substantial deficits are surprising blank spots having to do with informal modalities and innovative theories driven over the last twenty years by the field of management in the United States. Senge gets a page, there’s only one mention of Cooperrider in an article, hope, utopianism and educational renewal, and no mention of Goleman, Scharmer, others. But, even if infed is a bit behind, infed’s team has created a second-to-none resource.