Adult Nonformal Education

FAO IPM training programmes are based on empowering farmers through education to make their own decision using experiential learning techniques developed for nonformal adult education purposes. The concept of nonformal education evolved as an alternative to help rural people meet basic needs that the formal education system failed to address. Nonformal education allows the learner and the information source to define the objectives of learning and the process by which it will be learned.

Proponents of nonformal education, such as Kolb, define learning as the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. This is primarily in recognition of the vast experience that adult learners bring with them to the learning situation. The reservoir of experience of adult learners is a rich source for learning-for themselves and others. In addition, adults attach more meaning to learning they gain from experience than what they gain from passive methods. Hence, the primary methods for adult learning are experiential.

Adult learners see education as a process of developing increased competence to achieve their full potential in life and they want to be able to apply what they learn today to living more effectively tomorrow. Because Farmer Field Schools address problems in crop production and protection that are closest to farmers’ hearts, they become ready to learn and experience a need to learn it in order to cope more satisfyingly with real life tasks and concerns. 

More information on adult nonformal education can be found in :

Resource Material on Participatory Training and Nonformal Education