Non formal education in the school

Non formal education in the school


Non formal education got recognised in the end of the sixties, with the main slogan of “Leaning to Be”, but in 1973 Philip H Coombs, Prosser and Ahmed established the definition being “it’s all educational activity organised out of the stabilised educational system. It can be worked separately or inside of a bigger activity depending on the targets and learning outcomes searched”.

The main characteristic of non-formal education is its capacity to complement the learning gained in formal one, offering different things. The objective will never be a title, will be the learning itself. 


The benefits from non-formal education are:

– To help in the growing up (personally and professionally) inside of the society, since in most of the cases the team work and the connivance is a really important component.

– To develop the capacities of each individual, improving self-esteem.

– The capacity of self-learning and self-discovering develop a healthy critical attitude in the environment, social convention and power mechanisms.

– Increasing the employability and developing self-employment.


In a lot of occasions, our students just receive formal education, that’s why we think is important to offer this course, in order to give tools to teachers to combine their formal methods with some non-formal methods in order to give those tools and combine these two approaches and multiply the learning experiences of the students.


Learning outcomes of the course:

With this course we will train the teachers to make them able to apply non-formal methods inside of their normal practices, completing the experiences of the student and increasing the learning quality and the developing of competences.

Trainees will be instructed in key concepts as inclusion and integration, universal design, activity analysis, understanding the situations faced for the students with functional diversity, empathy and cooperation of all the students and institution to achieve this objective, different tools to achieve, the paper of new technologies into the inclusion inside the learning rooms of schools and what tools we can use to promote inclusion and accessibility in the daily life of our educational centres.

Schedule of the training course:

Non formal education
    • Presentation of the program. What is non-formal education?
      In this workshop we are going to explain all the planning schedule we have for this training course, answer questions and doubts, etc.

      After that we are going to introduce and speak about the bases and concept of non-formal education. For that we are going to understand and discuss the concepts of:

      • Based on learning objectives.
      • Planned in advance
      • Flexible structure.
      • With specific support (trainer, facilitator, …)
      • Lifelong learning

      Main principals:

      • Participation is voluntary
      • Active participation.
      • Group as source of learning.
      • Learner-centre.
      • Trainer activity need to be planned and 
      • Experimental learning, learning by doing. 
      • Holistic learning process, competences.
      • Personal and professional develop

Analysing our students and realities.

To understand correctly the realities of our students, and plan the non-formal learning activities, we are going to map the reality of our students, to understand their needs and the relation of their communities with them.

For that we are going to make the next activity:

In this tool we are going to represent three levels. The first level we will draw in the middle of a big paper the shape of a student, and then we will put two frames, one next to the shape of the student and other more in the external part. The internal frame will be the microcontext (local community) and the external one will represent the macrocontext.


From the macrocontext, participants will need to represent, using visual thinking, how influence in microcontext, and after that, how microcontext will influence the person. First the frame of microconetx need to be somehow defined and then to represent the influence to microcontext. Then, understanding the influence, people will need to set up the local context (municipality, city,…). And the process with the students will be the same, how local communities influence the students.


The order of the drawing will be:

  1. Microcontext/local community.
  2. Macrocontect/Country, international influence.
  3. Students of participants.

This analysis will be helped by some questions that teachers will be answering during this process until the description of the situation and influences of the student. In this way we are going to speak and understand the needs of our target group, in order to promote actions to work these needs.

Energizers and disclosing games

This activities are really important when we speak about non formal education and non-formal learning.

  • Energizer: An energizer is a brief activity that is intended to increase energy in a group by engaging them in physical activity, laughter, or in ways that engage the members cognitively (problem-solving). They can be used with any group, including during training.
  • Disclosing games: games that help participants mingle and find out a little bit about each other. It might be a game that simply introduces names, or it might go deeper.

These games are great for breaking the ice and helping new kids feel welcomed.


In this workshop we are going to present and give different examples of these act ivies, providing resources and toolboxes as well.

Debate club.

A debate is a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers. For young people to debate has a lot of potential learning outcomes as can be critical thinking, develop their argumentation abilities, communication skills, etc. so be able to create and facilitate a debate (debate club) will be always a good idea. 

In this workshops we are going to learn all the part that a debate in a classroom should have and how to facilitate it.


Prep Break students into two groups—For and Against:

  • Students either choose or are assigned to argue a particular side in the debate.
  • It may present an extra challenge, but it can be a positive learning experience for students to argue on the side of the debate they don’t actually believe in. Some instructors flip a coin and let the winning team decide whether they will argue in favour of or against the proposition.

Assign or let students choose roles in the debate:

  • Possible roles include: opening speaker, rebuttal speaker, concluding speaker, researcher, organizer, debate moderator, leader, and speech composer
  • Depending on the size of the groups, students may take on more than one role

Be explicit about the sources or types of evidence you want students to use to support their claims:

  • Possible sources include peer-reviewed journal articles, books and manuscripts, magazines and newspaper articles, websites, and interviews with experts on the topic.
  • Tell students they should avoid or limit claims based on personal experience or opinion, and explain why these are considered less valid sources of information in a debate. 


Write the proposition on the board:

  • The proposition is a statement that affirms or denies something. For example “Affirmative action policies should be banned”.
  • The proposition may also be written as a question (e.g., “Should affirmative action policies be banned?”)

Monitor time limits and debate structure:

  • There are countless variations of the exact format of debates but, traditionally, debates follow a similar structure:
  • Pro position (5 minutes) [Pro Team]
  • Rebuttal (3 minutes) [Con Team]
  • Con position (5 minutes) [Con Team]
  • Rebuttal (3 minutes) [Pro Team]
  • Teams question each other (5 minutes/team) [Both teams]
  • Closing statements (3 minutes/team) [Both teams, in the opposite order from opening statements]

Monitor Participation:

  • Particularly if a student is filling the moderator role (and thus keeping track of time), you can keep track of students’ contributions to make sure that everyone participates


Open up the debate for comments from all students:

  • After each side has presented their concluding arguments, you may want to let the rest of the class weigh in, ask questions, or present new evidence

Have students vote to indicate which side presented the most convincing argument:

  • Ask students to raise their hands in favor of the arguments made by the For or Against sides. You may want to ask if anyone’s mind has been changed by the debate—ask them to share what changed their thinking.

Análisis de la Actividad

We will use a board game and we will give the tool of activity analysis and other support documents.

– Activity analysis sample

– Activity demands

– Performance skills glossary

We will explain to participants that activity analysis is a tool of occupational therapy but we think, with a modification, can be used by teachers in order to improve the accessibility and inclusion of the school, since we are going to understand better the needs of the person.

First we will see the glossary. One teacher will observe how the others play this board game, writing down the abilities being used in the document “activity demands”. After that, we will fulfil the document Activity analysis.

In this way, the teachers will understand how to divide activity in tasks, like in components, in order to analyse what components avoid the participation of some groups and impact in these tasks (change them, modify them, support them …)


World Cafe Method

Drawing on seven integrated design principles, the World Café methodology is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue. Each element of the method has a specific purpose and corresponds to one or more of the design principles.

World Café can be modified to meet a wide variety of needs. Specifics of context, numbers, purpose, location, and other circumstances are factored into each event’s unique invitation, design, and question choice, but the following five components comprise the basic model:

1) Setting: Create a “special” environment, most often modeled after a café, i.e. small round tables covered with a checkered or white linen tablecloth, butcher block paper, coloured pens, a vase of flowers, and optional “talking stick” item. There should be four chairs at each table (optimally) – and no more than five.

2) Welcome and Introduction: The host begins with a warm welcome and an introduction to the World Café process, setting the context, sharing the Cafe Etiquette, and putting participants at ease.

3) Small-Group Rounds: The process begins with the first of three or more twenty-minute rounds of conversation for small groups of four (five maximum) people seated around a table. At the end of the twenty minutes, each member of the group moves to a different new table. They may or may not choose to leave one person as the “table host” for the next round, who welcomes the next group and briefly fills them in on what happened in the previous round.

4) Questions: each round is prefaced with a question specially crafted for the specific context and desired purpose of the World Café. The same questions can be used for more than one round, or they may build upon each other to focus the conversation or guide its direction.

5) Harvest: After the small groups (and/or in between rounds, as needed), individuals are invited to share insights or other results from their conversations with the rest of the large group. These results are reflected visually in a variety of ways, most often using graphic recording in the front of the room.

Art as a communication tool 

For this activity we will use the tool and board game Dixit.

Dixit is a card game created by Jean-Louis Roubira, illustrated by Marie Cardouat, and published by Libellud in Germany. Using a deck of cards illustrated with dreamlike images, players select cards that match a title suggested by the “storyteller”, and attempt to guess which card the “storyteller” selected.

But we will not play this game in a normal way, we will just use it.

We will make groups of four people, and each group will have part of the deck of Dixit. We will put 12 cards of dixit in the table, showing the drawings of the cards. And the activity will be, we will make questions and each of the participants of the group will need to answer, but using a card of the table. All of them will have to answer and take the time they need for that, we will make typical question that you do to meet new people, to discover what they think about some topics, etc. in each new question (new round) we will put new cards in the table replacing the used ones.

After 4 or 5 questions we will make to the groups, they will do it by themselves, they will decide the questions to do.

The idea of this workshop is to make to our teachers think how using art new another channels of communication, and to solve some problems or deal some topics, this channels can facilitate the communication of young people and students, and the information they are going to give with this process, will be different than discussing the same topics without this artistic and creative channel of communication.

Reflection tools

Reflections are always an essential part if we speak about non formal education. The reflection happens after of realizing and develop the workshops in order to set up and land of the learning processes, helping to integrate these learning outcomes.

In this workshop we are going to give to our teachers a big number of reflection tools, based in different methods’ as art, creativity, visual space, etc.

Mind-maps and visual thinking

  • Visual thinking is a way to organize your thoughts and improve your ability to think and communicate. It’s a great way to convey complex or potentially confusing information.
  • A Mind Map is an easy way to brainstorm thoughts organically without worrying about order and structure. It allows you to visually structure your ideas to help with analysis and recall.

Why is Visual Thinking important?

There’s more information at your fingertips than ever before, and yet people are overwhelmed by it. When faced with too much information we shut down. If your ideas can’t be drawn, they can’t be done. Visual thinking is a vital skill for developing new ideas and designs, communicating those ideas effectively, and collaborating with others to make them real.

Visual thinking methods are a great tool to prepare non formal activity, since help the creativity, imagination, etc.

We are going to present some of them to our teachers but also we are going to go a bit deeper in the concrete method “mindmaps” since it can be a perfect tool that will help students to prepare exams in an easier way.


Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. It can also be defined as a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying the characteristics of game elements.

To apply elements from games field to learning one is always a great idea, since sometimes formal education can get repetitive and monotony. We will speak about the bases of gamification:

  • Achievements: Game players get satisfaction from level accomplishment and skill development. Learners enjoy the same types of recognition.
  • Rewards: Closely related to achievement, rewards can be scheduled into the learning experience.
  • Story: An adventure setting, a thwarting disaster scenario, or a beating the competition narrative pique learner interest and motivation.

Also we will give tools to our teachers, and plan some uses:

  • Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share and play learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes. Unleash the fun in classrooms, offices and living rooms.
  • Brainscape: Brainscape is one of the platforms with the largest number and variety of digital teaching cards available, and we find all kinds of materials on the most varied subjects.
  • Cerebriti: is a game platform that we have already talked about here on some occasions, and that has two aspects: on the one hand, that the students create their own educational games; on the other hand, that they play those created by other users (or by the teachers) to consolidate their knowledge. There are games on all subjects and for all courses and ages, and it is free and multiplatform.

Theatre of the Oppressed

The Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) was developed by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal during the 1950’ps and 1960’s.  His explorations were based on the assumption that dialogue is the common, healthy dynamic between all humans, that all human beings desire and are capable of dialogue, and that when a dialogue becomes a monologue, oppression ensues. Theatre then becomes an extraordinary tool for transforming monologue into dialogue. “While some people make theatre,” says Boal, “we all are theatre.”

In this workshop we are going to deal with:

  • Principels of Theatre of the Oppressed.
  • Why this technic is good to apply it with our students. Benefits.
  • A List of Things To Do Before You Start
  • A List of Things To Do After You Start / During the Sessions
  • Practice briefly a method.
  • Manuals and tools.


School bullying, like bullying outside the school context, refers to one or more perpetrators who have greater physical or social power than their victim and act aggressively toward their victim by verbal or physical means.

Bullying and cyberbullying still being a huge problem in schools and high-schools that need to be approach somehow. Bullying in the school is completely stopped when:

  • We increase the group cohesion and soul among our students.
  • We promote the value of take action.

We cannot pretend to eliminate bully behaviours, because we cannot control what is happening in the head of each students, and change what is happening at their homes, but what we can change is what is happening in the classrooms. With this non formal method based in art we will promote the value of take the responsibility and actions when a student is aware of a bullying situation, to make our students change agents.

The objective of this workshop is to teach our participants a tool to work in the prevention of bullying, which is, as we know, one of the biggest problems of the students in high schools, what is even developing into cyberbullying. It`s essential to have tools to approach this problem.

Art is able to transfer from emotions, working the empathy to participants, which is essential in those topics. In this activity we are going to work and show to youth workers the importance of working in the perception of bullying with young people promoting the solidarity of all students as a change agent and actor supporting other partners in the situation of bullying, since being silent knowing this situation is a way to support it. 


Art has the capacity to potentiate this empathy using the power that emotional messages can provoke.


For that we will use pieces of artists that represented the situation of bullying in their art pieces, as we showed here. All these art pieces will have human shapes (we will avoid abstract art).

Each participant will have an art piece. And will write down the feelings and thoughts this artistic piece is transmitting to each one.

The next step will be to represent the same art piece, but making it to transmit just the opposite feelings and thoughts, “helping” its components.

In any moment we will say these pieces are representing bullying and harassment situations.


After that, when having the new art piece, each teacher will have to write down what this new piece is transmitting.

Next step will be to compare the results of both pieces, and they should reflect about how easy this change of perceptions is, what has happened when thanks to our action, something which was transmitting bad and negative feelings, now is transmitting just the opposite.


The last step will be to make a common reflection, about how external support in this situation (other people acting and influencing to change this situation) can be essential in order to stop this situation and event to prevent them.


With this activity, we will give our teacher a tool in order to promote the action among the students, and that the only way to prevent this situation efficiently is to be a change agent, to influence positive and not to be quiet if you see these circumstances.

Initiative development trough non-formal education

Promoting initiative and entrepreneurship trough young people always will be benefit for them since will give them tools and wiliness to develop their own ideas and projects, and also will be beneficial for the community, since all societies need people that promotes innovation and increase of economy. If we are able to put this seeds in our students since the beginning of their development, we will put a seed for their own prosperity and freedom.

For that we are going to make a really easy workshop that will stimulate their creativity, their creative thinking to solve society’s needs and problems and their willing of making ideas to come true.

– First, we make all the students that will participate in the activity into different groups (3-4 people maximum).

– We give them 4 little papers, where you can write one word. We will ask our participants to write down one random words. Can be anything.

– Then the teacher will pick all the papers.

– Also the teachers will have to write down some needs of their community, as can be “more health services”, “problems with rubbish,”, … We will put one community need per group.

– After that, we are going to, randomly give three papers to each group and one of the need, and we will give the task to each group to “create” a business putting all this concepts together.

– After 30 minutes, we will share the results and make a debriefing process..


Well mental being

Other situation young people face when they are in highshcool and schools is the stress and anxiety of this period of life (first couple, changing of environments, lost feeling when finalising studies, etc). For this reason we think is a good idea to bring tools also for this issue for teachers in this course in order to promote among their students how. Prevent and manage this situations. For that we are going to present and understand two methods:

  1. The Journaling: the objective of this technique is reduce the stress of certain moments/events/situations of youth, and we can use it in simple (reducing stress), or more specific way (searching solutions).

The technic consist in:

  • Give a white paper to the students and ask them to think in a moment/event that creates them anxiety (as can be an exam).
  • In the paper they will draw a person living the same situation than the student, representing what this character think and feel according the situation described.
  • Also, in the story, students will represent all the details surrounding the situation (Why, when, how where, who,…)
  • The fourth step will be create an end of the story, solving the question created.

Why this character is acting like this? Why he is feeling like this? What he can do to control, improve or change the situation.


Our puzzle

For this activity we will need paints, brushes and scissors.

In an individually way participants will have to paint a white paper in a chaotic way, without sense, mixing colours without really paying attention. We will wait until the paintings get dry and we will cut the paper in little parts. Participants will have a mission to do with this little papers, which will be, using the mosaic technique, create other figures and forms.

We want to make a reflection about how, with effort, we can transform something chaotic and with no sense, in something beautiful (art piece). We can transfer this situation to the life of our students, where the identity get lost and the stresses is increasing, we always can take situations and transform them in something good for us, we can learn from them.




The infoxication is a phenomenon related to the development of the Internet, and which refers to the difficulty or impossibility of taking a decision or keeping informed about a particular subject, due to the endless amount of data and content that exists on the web.


Young people receive constantly information and inputs trough their phones, computers and other devices. This massive amount of information is, in the most of the cases useless for young people, and is there just to make them being stuck to their screens. This situation makes young people not be able to be concentrated and need all the time these inputs and stimulus. We think is a really nice idea to approach this topic.


For that, we propose art as an alternative and as a tool to experiment different interests to practice this long term development process.


We will prepare different workshops based on art and to create a result.

The workshops will be:

– Origami development.

– Polymairclay workshop.

– To create a dreamcatcher.


The purpose of these workshops will be to search and practice disciplines alternatives to topology, to develop a creative Project that makes the brain of participants (students) to be concentrated in this process and forget the phone and all the inputs and stimulation of the new technologies.


We will make a reflection about who they feel the influence of new technologies in their students, in their behaviours and how teacher and educational stakeholders can promote alternative and other kinds of activities to train the brain to be relaxed and to enjoy long processes.


Diversity in the school, functional diversity


In the nowadays societies, and schools, we achieve to make more inclusive classrooms and schools, so it’s easier that students with functional diversity share spaces with students’ without functional diversity. Ant these are good news, to create inclusive spaces where more people can be without limits it’s always the objective we need to search, but also can create situation of bullying or of isolation of students with functional diversity.


To avoid the apparition of these situations, we can work the empathy among students, and this workshop is based on this. We have three parts.


  1. Barriers related with symptoms and disability.

During this activity, we will simulate 5 types of disabilities that teachers will have to face, and understand what means to realize some activities with limited capacities.


We will make tasks to overcome simulating:

  • Amputation.
  • Blindness.
  • Speaking problems.
  • Reduced mobility.
  • Mental illness.


  1. Psychological barriers – labels.

We will stick some labels to each participant and we will indicate to our teachers to interact among them regarding the labels. The labels will be things like “I need help”, “I am joking all the time”, “you like me”, I spit when I talk”, etc.


  1. Social barriers – dependency.

We will play the video “Quiero seguir opinando” with English subtitles and after that participants will have to sole the next questions:

– How do you think she felt?

– What were they doing wrong?

– What would you do in this position?

– Do you think this behaviour is usual with our student with functional diversity?

– Did we do that in the past with students and/or other people?


Diversity in the school, LGBT collective


In the same way that spaces are more inclusive for people with functional diversity, our societies, fortunately, are more open of diversity speaking about diversity in the field of relations among people (sexual-affective diversity). And also, for the same reasons of apparition of new ways of bullying and isolation among young people in schools, it’s a good idea to work this topic with our students:


The objectives of this activities are:

– To make visible the big quantity existing when we speak about sexual orientation and identity.

– To understand that historically the society discriminate people with not normative orientation and identity, and nowadays these circumstances can appear.

– To have a tool to work in the prevention of bullying and isolation of students of LGBT collective.


We are going to put two posters in two opposite sides of the same room. Each of the poster will have different personal characteristics like hobbies, tastes, favourite sports, etc. (avoiding controversial topics as can be politics, religion,…). It’s important to find excluding characteristics to be in one or the other group. For example in one poster we can write down “I like to play football, I like shopping, I hate marmalade and I like Shakira”, and in the other “I hate sport, I love Cinema, I like salty food, I love trap music,…”


We will ask our teachers to put themselves in one of the poster. Will be really difficult than one of the participant will fulfil 100% in one of them, so we will ask them to place themselves among the two posters, finding the perfect position for each person among these two descriptions.


We will as the participants how they feel, if closer or poster A or poster B, and we will ask as well what you feel where you can not fit in any social category. After that we are going to change the name of the poster and we will write down “gender”. We will discuss if this situation can affect to our young people if we do not normalise this diversity among our students.


We can do this activity again, speaking about masculinity and femininity, with these two posters, and reflect that we do not need to be the perfect man or the perfect woman.



  1. Strong
  2. Competitive.
  3. I like challenges
  4. Fast.
  5. Sportive person.
  6. Logic
  7. Powerful.
  8. Brave.
  9. Sensible.



  1. Tender
  2. Cooperative.
  3. I avoid challenges.
  4. Calm.
  5. Quite.
  6. Peaceful.
  7. Equitative 
  8. Sensitive.
  9. Emotional.


Reflection time.


Our needs


We are going to give this space to work specifically in the need of the teachers and schools that will come to this course, providing them non-formal methods as approach for those needs.

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