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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
close this folderPhase I: Introduction to training
View the documentPhase I Calendar
View the documentSession 1. Sharing perceptions of appropriate technology: an ice breaker
View the documentSession 2. Defining expectations of the appropriate community technology training program
View the documentSession 3. Group resource assessment
View the documentSession 4. Appropriate educational and learning processes part 1: non-formal education (nfe) and international community development work
View the documentSession 4. Appropriate educational and learning processes part 2: adult learning theory and how it is used in this training program
View the documentSession 5. Development of facilitation skills criteria
View the documentSession 6. Cross-cultural awareness and communication
View the documentSession 7. Hollow square
View the documentSession 8. Health in a cross-cultural context
View the documentSession 9. Community resource investigation
View the documentSession 10. An exercise in problem solving: formulating a plan for well-being
View the documentSession 11. Communication and listening skills
View the documentSession 12. Construction of earthen block molds: a focus on group dynamics
View the documentSession 13. Construction of earthen blocks
View the documentSession 14. Global energy issues
View the documentSession 15. Introduction to the evaluation process
View the documentSession 16. Evaluation and integration of training themes
Open this folder and view contentsPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
Open this folder and view contentsPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
Open this folder and view contentsPhase IV: Solar water heaters
Open this folder and view contentsPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 4. Appropriate educational and learning processes part 1: non-formal education (nfe) and international community development work

Total time:

2 hours


* To examine the principles of non-formal education


* To discuss ways in which non-formal education may be applied in community work


* To review examples of ways in which nonformal education is used in this training program


* "Skills for Development Facilitators" (Appendix A) and the Manual Introduction
* Attachment 1-4/1-A, "A Definition of NonFormal Education"
* Attachment 1-4/1-B, "A Comparison of Formal and Non-Formal Education"
* Attachment 1-4/1-C, "The Participative and Directive Trainer"
* Srinivasan, Lyra, Perspectives on NonFormal Adult Learning: Functional Education for Individual. Community and National Develooment, pp. 1-23


Newsprint and felt-tip pens


Step 1. (15 minutes)
Distribute Attachments I-4/1-A and I-4/1-B, "A Definition of Non-Formal Education," and "A Comparison of Formal and NonFormal Education." Read and discuss the definition of NFE found on the attachments.

Step 2. (15 minutes)
Give a brief talk on the background and foundations of NFE and its relationship to adult learning theory. Encourage questions and discussions.

Trainer Notes

For a concise overview of NFE and adult learning theory, refer to: Srinivasan, Lyra, Perspectives on Non-Formal Adult Learning: Functional Education for Individual. Community and National Development, pp. 1-23.

Step 3. (20 minutes)
Have participants identify/discuss some general ways in which NFE concepts might help them in their future role as Peace Corps Volunteers.

Step 4. (15 minutes)
Distribute Attachment 1-4/1-B, "A Comparison of Formal and Non-Formal Education," and refer participants to their copies of the Manual Introduction: Skills for Development Facilitators (Appendix A) Briefly explain some of the ways in which NFE is used in this program.

Trainer Notes

Explain how NFE is integrated into the training program through the "Skills for Development Facilitators" and that participants will have opportunities throughout their training to develop and practice NFE techniques and methods. Mention as examples the "Independent Study" and the "Energy Fair" and point out that these opportunities will be introduced in more detail in future sessions. Also, mention that there will be opportunities to facilitate and co-facilitate sessions.

Step 5. (30 minutes)
Have participants form small groups and discuss any additional ways in which NFE concepts may be integrated into the training program.

Step 6. (15 minutes)
Reconvene the large group and have participants share their ideas. Encourage questions and discussion.

Trainer Notes

It is probable that in the course of this discussion certain ideas may be presented which would be of value to the program. You should note these and discuss their feasibility with the training staff.

Step 7. (10 minutes)
Conclude the session by distributing the Attachment I-4/1-C, "The Participative and Directive Trainer." Ask participants to study the list and explain that it will be a resource for the next day's session on the development of facilitation skills criteria.


One definition of non-formal education is that education:

Which takes place primarily outside the school's formal hierarchy which extends from kindergarden to graduate school and

Which is aimed primarily at helping people in such areas as literacy, learning a skill, better farming, better health, better nutrition, etc.


1. What should be the basis for selecting students to be educated?

* Formal schools frequently select students because they are already smart and will succeed.
* Non-formal education is more likely to select students because they have problems and need help.

2. How should curriculum be made? Who should make it?

* In formal education, curriculum is made by the "experts" in colleges and ministries.
* In non-formal education, the curriculum arises from the need of the student to know, for example, to increase rice production, limit the size of families or how to run a machine, or prepare a family meal.

3. How should educators be judged on what they do and be accountable for what they do?

* In formal education we say that the results of our work cannot be known for many years, until the child grows up.
* In non-formal education the accountability is usually swift and immediate. The illiterate does or does not become literate. The farmer does or does not use a better variety of rice. The housemaker does or does not improve nutrition for her family.

4. How should we evaluate learners?

* Formal educators like to grade people on the basis of tests and eliminate those who don't make it. We fail them.
* Non-formal educators are more apt to evaluate people in terms of improvements and not to grade them or sort out on the basis of poor grades.

5. What should be the place of individual competition in education?

* In formal education competition is on an individual basis, and in comparison to others.
* In non-formal education, group learning and reinforcement is more apt to be stressed.

6. What is the proper use of time units in education?

* In formal education we count it in years and think it an accomplishment when we can extend a program from two, say, to four years. As a result a person may now spend more than one-third of his life in school.
* Good non-formal programs tent to end as soon as the student learns what he needs to know. In fact, some nonformal research indicates that students learn better in short programs than in long ones.

7. Who can teach?

* In formal education those can teach who are duly certified.
* In non-formal education anyone can teach who knows what is to be taught and how to teach it.

8. Who can learn?

* In formal education those who can learn can be admitted.
* In non-formal education those who have the need to know can be admitted.

9. What should be the role of compulsion in education?

* In formal education we have many devices for making education compulsory, through laws and curriculum and professional requirements.
* Most non-formal education is voluntary and people just as easily walk out of the program if they don't think it meets their needs. The student is the judge, not the teacher.

10. At what age do people learn best?

* In formal education we tend to think that youth is for study and age is for work.
* Non-formal education frequently mixes youth and age and assumes they can learn if they feel the need to know.

Adopted from Cole S. Brenbeck, "What Can Non-Formal Education Teach Formal Education about Innovation," INNOTECH/NEWSLETTER, Sept/Oct 1977, p. 10.


Formal Education

Non-Formal Education


1. Long-tenm and general
Formal education is expected to provide the basis for an individual's whole future life. Therefore (even in technical fields) it is general in character.

1. Short-term and specific
Nonformal education meets shortterm learning needs of individuals and communities. It therefore emphasizes the learning of specific knowledge and skills and the inculcation of specific attitudes which result in immediately functional behavioural changes.

2. Credential-based
The end-product of formal education is the acquisition of qualifications and certificates which enable individuals to obtain specific socioeconomic positions in the wider society. Rewards are therefore deferred.

2. Non-credential based
Non-formal education produces learning which is immediately valued in the context of the individual's or community's life situation. Rewards are tangible and may include improvements in material wellbeing, productivity, selfawareness, ability to control the environment, etc.


1. Long Cycle
Formal education programs are rarely less than one year in length and usually last for much longer periods often ten years or more. One level of study leads immediately on to the next.

1. Short Cycle
Non-formal education programs are quite short, rarely longer than two years and often much shorter than this. Length will depend on the period required to achieve the learning objectives in question.

2. Preparatory
Formal education is child-centered and futureoriented and provides the basis for future participation in society and economy.

2. Recurrent
Non-formal education may relate to children or adults, depending on the immediate learning needs arising from the individual's roles and stage in life.

3. Full-Time
Formal education takes place full-time and does not permit other parallel activities, especially productive work.

3. Part-Time
Non-formal education is part-time and activities may be timed in a variety of ways to meet the needs and convenience of learners.


1. Input-Centered and Standardized
The basis of the curriculum for formal education is a welldefined package of cognitive knowledge with limited emphasis on psycho-motor or affective consideration. The content is standardized across large groups of learners.

1. Output-Centered and Individualized
Non-formal education is task- or skillcentered and designed to produce quite specific changes in the learners. Units are discrete and variable and may be related to the precise functional learning needs of individual participants or small homogeneous groups.

2. Academic
The curriculum is founded in theory and isolated from the environmental and social action.

2. Practical
The curriculum is dictated by the particular uses to which the learning will be put and consequently is closely related to environment of the learners.

3. Clientele determined by Entry Requirements
Clientele are defined in terms of their ability to cope with the level of education being offered. Literacy is essential (except at the lowest level) and successful completion of lower levels is required for admission to higher levels.

3. Entry Requirements determined by Clientele
Non-formal education is geared to the needs and interests of the potential clientele. Specific characteristics such as literacy or formal educational qualifications are not essential for admission.


1. Institution-based Formal education takes place in highly visible and expensive institutions called "schools," whose sole purpose is educational.

1. Environment-based
Non-formal education takes place in a variety of settings but emphasis is given to locales such as the work place or home which are not education-specific. Such specific facilities as are used are minimal and low cost.

2. Isolated Formal education programs are isolated from the socio-economic environment and from social action. Learners are removed from their own environments for substantial periods.

2. Community-related
Non-formal education is conducted close to where learners live and work and the environment is functionally related to the learning which takes place.

3. Rigidly structured
Formal education is rigidly structured around the parameters of time and the participants' age and/or performance. It involves uniform entry points, is graded into uniform units, is sequential and continuous. Clear inter-relationships exist between different programs.

3. Flexibly structured
Non-formal education programs have varying degrees and types of structure, but a variety of relationships and sequences is possible within them. Programs are discrete and few relationships exist between them.

4. Teacher-centered
Formal education involves a laborintensive technology and emphasize teaching rather than learning. Authority and control is vested in formally qualified and certified members of a teaching profession.

4. Learner-centered
Non-formal education uses a variety of resources and technologies. Emphasis is on learning rather than teaching and a variety of personnel (often not professional educators) are utilized as facilitators rather than teachers.

5. Resource-intensive
Formal education utilizes expensive plant and staff, involves a high opportunity-cost of student time and largely draws its resources from outside the immediate surrounding community.

5. Resource-saving
Non-formal education economizes on resources by utilizing community facilities and personnel (especially at slack times) where possible, by keeping specific facilities low-cost and by part-time study.


1. Externally controlled
Curricula and standards are externally determined and publicly controlled or supervised by national bureaucracies.

1. Self-governing
Control is uncoordinated, fragmented and diffuse, involving a variety of agencies, often nongovernmental. There is substantial autonomy at program and local levels, with an emphasis on local initiative, self-help and innovation.

2. Hierarchical
Internal control is highly structured and based on role-defined relations among teachers and between teachers and learners.

2. Democratic
Substantial control is vested in participants and the local community.

Adapted from Tim Simkins, NON-FORMAL EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT, Monchecter Monographs, 1976, pp. 12-13.


The Participative Trainer

The Directive Trainer

1. Involves the trainee in creation or revision of program objectives, and/or the identification of individual learning needs and objectives; strives to keep objectives related to where trainee is and wants to go.

1. Defines objectives for trainee achievement at the beginning of the program; holds to these throughout to maintain consistency and coherence.

2. Assists trainees in identifying possible learning activities and in effectively structuring such activities.

2. Decides what learning activities are most appropriate and expects trainees to follow this structure.

3. Expects the trainee to learn by exploration and discovery, asking questions, making use of available resources and solving problems.

3. Expects the trainee to learn primarily by absorbing material through lectures, readings, etc., by memorization or practice and by responding to trainer questions.

4. Involves the trainees in decision-making; invites ideas, suggestions and criticism from the trainees.

4. Makes the decisions or carries out decisions made by the staff; does not invite suggestions or criticism from the trainees.

5. Structures the training so that unplanned and unexpected problems will be treated as learning opportunities.

5. Follows the schedule closely; avoids problems or dispenses with them quickly so they will not interfere with the planned sequence or schedule.

6. Promotes cooperative work among trainees and climate of openness, trust and concern for others.

6. Promotes individual learning effort, accountability and competition among trainees.

7. Promotes self-assessment by trainees and provides feedback of information needed by trainees to evaluate their own progress.

7. Personally assesses trainee performance and progress, usually through formal tests.

8. Involves the trainees in midcourse or final evaluation of training program, process, materials and its progress toward objectives and elicits suggestions.

8. Does own mid-course or final evaluation of training program and its effectiveness; draws own conclusions about needed revisions.

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