2.1 Modes of Education:
We have Formal, Informal, Non-formal modes of providing Education. These modes can be thought of as differing in respect of constraints of time , place and content .
2.2 Formal Mode:
Education can be said to be in the Formal mode when it is imparted in a specified place e.g. school, in a specified time schedule covering a fixed content for achieving specified objectives set to achieve a pre decided goal. This largely takes place in school and college education set up that is in vogue with certification at different stages on the basis of suitable evaluation process like examinations which involve assessments made of the achievements. This mode is marked by the highest level of rigidity of the system
2.3 Informal Mode:
Education takes place in the absence of the constraints mentioned above, in a natural environ. When the child learns from parents, other family members, peer group etc with no specification of place and time, with no pre set content but may be with checks by parents or elders that the child is on the right path, it is informal learning resulting in informal education. Children and adults alike receive informal education inadvertently without any conscious efforts in a continuous way. Evaluation is implicit in the process which is largely self regulatory may be with occasional intervention by parents, elders, family members and peers when one would seem to deviate from desired norms. Sociologists would call this as Socialization which involves learning plural behavior (and some would term this as Education if it takes place in a formal set up as mentioned above. For many folks Education means what takes place in the formal mode). Informal mode is marked by highest level of flexibility.
2.4 Non Formal mode:
One view is that if Education process is with reduced level of rigidity than in the formal mode and with increased level of rigidity that is reduced level of flexibility than in the informal mode the result would be Non- Formal mode. In other words if we consider a continuum from the Informal mode to the Formal mode in respect of levels rigidity or flexibility, the middle path would be the Non –Formal mode. Some would call this as the mean of the Formal and the Informal mode.
One can think of Non –Formal mode(as it is in vogue now) as that with relaxation of the restraints of place and time schedules but not with objectives, contents and Evaluation (involving examinations and assessments) leading to certification. Progressive thinkers might suggest developing a broader outlook in the aspects last mentioned- objectives , content, evaluation etc-and suggest a more liberal system.
2.5 F.I.N.E MODEL:
F.I.N.E model involves an eclectic approach in use of all the three modes in an integrated way in learning situations and hence in the process of Holistic Education.
Provision for Informal mode and Non- Formal mode can be made during Formal mode.
E.g. play activities and group activities in the ground or garden ie outside the class room with suitable relaxation of time table say by combining teaching periods or by combining grades (classes). Learning environment can be created for children outside teaching hours and outside class rooms so that learning takes place all the time sans any regimentation.
If teachers can work with vision and zeal it is possible to have no time table days in schools during which children learn all that and even much more than what they would learn with rigid time tables. (No it is not that teachers leave the children to themselves and do chit chatting among themselves. do personal work, read magazines, sleep during that time.). For this teachers need to have developed greater skills- such as skill of monitoring without interfering or regimenting-skills which are not probably listed in micro teaching introduced in India decades ago by Prof B.K.Passi who became famous for that. At macro level policy makers of Education and Teacher Education should make provision and encouragement for such integration in the educational policies put forward by them- that is in case of a centralized system. However such policies emerging from micro level experiments in localized set up would be much more preferable.
So ‘WHAT’ is F.I.N.E Model?
As described above
‘WHY’ should there be F.I.N.E Model?
For holistic education.
‘HOW ‘ can we have F.I.N.E Model?
As described above
This F.I.N.E Model would facilitate LLE- Life Long Education
Books on Sociological Foundation of Education would talk about conservative and constructive role of Education. In simple words we can think of them as transforming and consolidating as natural phases in micro level learning (as depicted in typical learning curve) as well as in macro level development including evolution of man kind revealed by History. In one’s life time there are temporarily permanent phases (ante thesis may be forgiven) but progressing from lower level to higher level. Holistic Education facilitates this process to be of benefit to the individual and also of the society. One becoming useful productive member of the society is considered as the Sociological Aim of Education. There are levels of these- ever increasing levels- from being able to make useful objects to being a great human resource inspiring people with wisdom acquired. So Education is life long- this in a philosophical sense.
In a more practical sense LLE may be taken as persons including even retired persons doing pursuit of education in the form of studying various other subjects, doing more and more research in their own subject in which they have acquired mastery and so on- this being at home or in places like hospitals and prisons even. Degrees, Certifications, Awards and other forms of recognition might help as external motivators-that is human nature in general. However LLE as mentioned in a philosophical sense deserves to be promoted. F.I.N.E becomes significant for this.
by : Balasubramanian Ramaswami