Essay about Free Choice Learning And Other Informal Education Settings

1169 Words Dec 11th, 2014 null Page
Free-Choice Learning

Free-choice learning is a new concept that I discovered doing research for this paper. The term free-choice learning gained my attention because it kept popping up in research papers in relation to zoos and other informal education settings. Because of the frequent occurrence of this topic in zoo related journal articles, i figured it would be professionally beneficial to learn more about it . So, what is free-choice learning. Falk et al. describe free-choice learning in their book Free-Choice Learning and The Environment as; “the term we use to describe the learning that occurs in environmental education settings when the learning is largely under the choice and control of the learner - most casual visitors who do not participate in structured programs engage in free-choice learning.”
So this would not be the children coming to a zoo facility on a field trip with predefined goals, but it might be the family who came to see the new baby tigers at the zoo and came across an educational program or educational materials and walked away with new information. Falk et al. also describe free-choice learning environments as setting that “prompt us to reevaluate the roles of emotion in learning.” One study had the 3 identified learning outcomes from free-choice learning: “(a) incidental outcomes, (b) broader outcomes and (c) affirmative outcomes ( Zeppel, 2008). Understanding Free-choice learning in a zoo environment is important to understand to be able to…

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