Date of Award

Spring 2018


Capstone - Open Access


Human Development & Education

First Advisor

Katelyn Kurkul


Informal learning is learning that happens spontaneously with no explicit instruction taking place (Latchem, 2014). The term informal learning was developed in 1950 by Malcolm Knowles in his work Informal Adult Education (as cited in Cofer, 2000) and many others have researched best practices for informal learning involving children (Latchem, 2014; Song et al., 2017). In many cases, it is the responsibility of the adult to initiate informal learning experiences by providing quality explanations for the many questions that children ask and engaging in everyday conversation with children. Much of the research that has been done exploring informal learning has taken place in a museum setting or about a STEM subject, (Crowley et al., 2001; Tougu, Marcus, Haden, & Uttal, 2017) but informal learning can take place anywhere using everyday experiences. Although there are individual differences to be mindful of when engaging in informal learning experiences, all care providers are encouraged to initiate informal learning with children using best practices suggested in this article.