ERIC Number: ED214228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Sociological Bases of Informal Education: An Ethnographic Study of an Informal Middle School in England.
Scheirer, Elinor A.
To examine the cultural context and theoretical basis of an educational system similar to the British infant school approach, this study undertook observation and analysis of a British middle school practicing what is called "informal education" (to differentiate it from other similar innovations such as open education, individualized instruction, or learning centers). Data were collected through six months of observation of school activities. Observations suggest that crucial to the functioning of the system is the fact that all the teachers relate to all the students, rather than only to those in their classes. The pattern of the school day (workshops, school assembly, playtime, lunch, voluntary activities, mathematics, reading and special topics, and story time) supports such interaction, as well as supporting staff interaction. Staff interactions provide an informal type of inservice training. Formal staff development activities include visits to other schools and faculty meeting discussions. Since the head of the school has considerable influence over the selection of new teachers, most on the staff share similar views regarding teaching and learning. This study is intended to have implications for schools in the United States that have objectives similar to those of British schools using informal educational approaches. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: England; Infant Schools (United Kingdom)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association (Philadelphia, PA, March 13, 1981).