A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils (children) and students (adults). The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college. These professional qualifications may include the study of pedagogy, the science of teaching. Teachers, like other professionals, may have to continue their education after they qualify, a process known as continuing professional development. Teachers may use a lesson plan to facilitate student learning, providing a course of study which is called the curriculum. A teacher's role may vary among cultures. Teachers may provide instruction in literacy and numeracy, craftsmanship or vocational training, the arts, religion, civics, community roles, or life skills. A teacher who facilitates education for an individual may also be described as a personal tutor, or, largely historically, a governess. In some countries, formal education can take place through home schooling. Informal learning may be assisted by a teacher occupying a transient or ongoing role, such as a family member, or by anyone with knowledge or skills in the wider community setting. Religious and spiritual teachers, such as gurus, mullahs, rabbis, pastors/youth pastors and lamas, may teach religious texts such as the Quran, Torah or Bible.

Informal learning Informal learning is one of three forms of learning defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The other two are formal and non-formal learning. Informal learning occurs in a variety of places, such as at home, work, and through daily interactions and shared relationships among members of society. For many learners this includes language acquisition, cultural norms and manners. Informal learning for young people is an ongoing process that also occurs in a variety of places, such as out of school time, in youth programs at community centers and media labs. In the context of corporate training and education, the term informal learning is widely used to describe the many forms of learning that takes place independently from instructor-led programs: books, self-study programs, performance support materials and systems, coaching, communities of practice, and expert directories. Informal learning for American indigenous children can takes place in the community, where individuals have opportunities to observe and participate in ongoing community activities Characterizations Informal learning can be characterized as follows: It usually takes place outside educational establishments; It does not follow a specified curriculum and is not often professionally organized but rather originates accidentally, sporadically, in association with certain occasions, from changing practical requirements; It is not necessarily planned pedagogically conscious, systematically according to subjects, test and qualification-oriented, but rather unconsciously incidental, holistically problem-related, and related to situation management and fitness for life; It is experienced directly in its "natural" function of everyday life. It is often spontaneous. [edit]History In international discussions, the concept of informal learning, already used by John Dewey at an early stage and later on by Malcolm Knowles, experienced a renaissance, especially in the context of development policy. At first, informal learning was only delimited from formal school learning and nonformal learning in courses (Coombs/Achmed 1974). Marsick and Watkins take up this approach and go one step further in their definition. They, too, begin with the organizational form of learning and call those learning processes informal which are non-formal or not formally organized and are not financed by institutions (Watkins/Marsick, p. 12 et sec.). An example for a wider approach is Livingstone's definition which is oriented towards autodidactic and self-directed learning and places special emphasis on the self-definition of the learning process by the learner (Livingstone 1999, p. 68 et seq.). [edit]Other perspectives on informal learning Merriam and others (2007) state: "Informal learning, Schugurensky (2000) suggests, has its own internal forms that are important to distinguish in studying the phenomenon. He proposes three forms: self-directed learning, incidental learning, and socialization, or tacit learning. These differ among themselves in terms of intentionality and awareness at the time of the learning experience. Self-directed learning, for example, is intentional and conscious; incidental learning, which Marsick and Watkins (1990) describe as an accidental by-product of doing something else, is unintentional but after the experience she or he becomes aware that some learning has taken place; and finally, socialization or tacit learning is neither intentional nor conscious (although we can become aware of this learning later through 'retrospective recognition') (Marsick & Watkins, 1990, p. 6)" (p. 36). More recently, Bennett (2012) extended Schugurenksky's (2000) conceptualization of informal by recommending four modes of informal learning: a) self-directed, which is conscious and intentional, b) incidental, which is conscious and unintentional, c) tacit, which replaces socialization and is both nonconscious and unintentional, and d) integrative, which is nonconscious and intentional. Drawing upon implicit processing literature, she further defined integrative learning as "a learning process that combines intentional nonconscious processing of tacit knowledge with conscious access to learning products and mental images" (Bennett, 2012, p. 4) and she theorized two possible sub-processes: knowledge shifting and knowledge sublimation, which describe limited access learners have to tacit knowledge. [edit]American indigenous perspective The way an individual learns, is specific to their culture and occurs through socialization processes within their community (Pewewardy, 2002). Informal learning through observation and participation in family and community settings is a complex educational practice seen in many indigenous communities of the Americas. [2] Children participate in the same activities of everyday life, of their family and community as adults do. An example is the process where children learn slash-and-burn agriculture by being present in the situation and contributing when possible.[3] Both children and adults are actively involved in shared endeavors. Their roles as learner and expert are flexible while the observer participates in active concentration.[4] Indigenous ways of learning include practices such as observation, experiential learning, and apprenticeship.[5] Work, alongside and combined with play, occupies an important place in American Indigenous childrens time and development. The interaction of a Navajo girl assisting her mother weaving and who eventually becomes a master weaver herself illustrate how the child presence and the availability of these activities allow the child to learn through observation.[6] Children start at the periphery, observing and imitating those around them, before moving into the center of activities under supervision and guidance. Work is part of a childs development from an early age, starting with simple tasks that merge with play and develop to various kinds of useful work.[7] The circumstances of everyday routine create opportunities for the culturally meaningful activities and sensitive interactions on which a child's development depends.[8] Informal knowledge is information that has not been externalized or captured and the primary locus of the knowledge may be inside someone's head. (Grebow, David, "At the Water Cooler of Learning" in Cross, J., & Quinn, C. "Transforming Culture: An Executive Briefing on the Power of Learning", Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2002). For example, in the cause of language acquisition, a mother may teach a child basic concepts of grammar and language at home, prior to the child entering a formal education system (Eaton, Sarah (2011). "Family Literacy and the New Canadian: Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning: The Case of Literacy, Essential Skills and Language Learning in Canada"). In such a case, the mother has a tacit understanding of language structures, syntax and morphology, but she may not be explicitly aware of what these are. She understands the language and passes her knowledge on to her offspring. Other examples of informal knowledge transfer include instant messaging, a spontaneous meeting on the Internet, a phone call to someone who has information you need, a live one-time-only sales meeting introducing a new product, a chat-room in real time, a chance meeting by the water cooler, a scheduled Web-based meeting with a real-time agenda, a tech walking you through a repair process, or a meeting with your assigned mentor or manager. Experience indicates that much of the learning for performance is informal (The Institute for Research on Learning, 2000, Menlo Park). Those who transfer their knowledge to a learner are usually present in real time. Such learning can take place over the telephone or through the Internet, as well as in person.