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The importance of informal education



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                            I. The importance of informal education

    Niebel, B. and Freivalds, A. (2002). Methods, Standard And Work Design, Eleventh Edition. Boston: McGraw‑Hill Higher Education

                In addition to showing how important informal education is in the workplace, the authors of this volume provide a thorough examination of efficiency and methodology in manual labor. Niebel and Freivalds provide their readers with the history behind different kinds of labor and outlines different kinds of training. The authors also explain the development of  “work design”, the process of fitting work to the worker, rather than the worker to the work. This thorough volume serves as a good reference to workplace history, philosophy, methodology and models. Yet, rather than simply presenting a stream of facts, the authors seek to provide evidence that the well-being of workers is just as important as high levels of productivity. This is particularly relevant to the debate over increasing educational standards for police officers.

     II. The necessity of formal education

    Breci, M. G. (1994). Higher education for law enforcement: the Minnesota model

    FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Retrieved July 31, 2007 from,

                The author, using Minnesota system of promoting higher education on the police force as a model, provides an in depth article on the benefits and disadvantages of requiring police recruits to obtain college degrees. Breci discusses the increased importance police place on higher education. He explains the success of  and problems with Minnesota’s program,  which currently requires potential police officers to obtain a two‑year degree before obtaining a license. Potential peace officers are licensed before the hiring process. Breci shows that since the changes were implemented, educational levels of police have gone up over 30%. Breci shows that police officers find their education quite useful and that those who have a four‑year degree perform better. Those without degrees planned to get them. Yet, Breci demonstrates that police officers do not favor requiring officers to have a four year degree. This is partially due to concerns over discrimination.

                            III. Social Support in Police Retention

    Brough, P.and Frame, R. (2004). Predicting police job satisfaction and turnover intentions: the role of social support and police organizational variables. New Zealand Journal of Psychology. Retrieved July 22, 2007, from

                The authors of this article focus on determining which social factors affect officer retention. According to their evidence, discrimination is one reason turnover is so high in the police profession. This sort of discrimination is often gender based. The authors suggest that educational programs that stress equity may be of some help in solving the problem of low retention.

    IV. Self-responsibility in Education

    Clarkson, L., Brabazon, S. and Muir, R. G. (2005) Should police officers take greater responsibility for their training and education? RCMP Gazette Vol. 67(3). Retrieved July 29, 2007, from

                The authors of this article stress the importance of self-responsibility in obtaining education, rather than heavy reliance on employers or the public. It quotes officers supporting the view that education is a critical necessity for the police force, due to developments in technology, crime and society. Because these things change so rapidly, agencies have a hard time keeping officers up to date in their training. Therefore, says Clarkson, officers must take responsibility for their own education.

                            V. Working Models Vs. Non-working Models

    Cunningham, S. and Wagstaff, M. (2006). Diversity of Police Community Support Officer recruits compared to Police Officer recruits in the Metropolitan Police Service. London: Metropolitan Police Authority.

                The authors of this study seek to explain why the numbers of women, minorities and certain age groups is what it is.  In order to do this, the authors interviewed 16 stakeholders from the MPA, MPS and Home Office. In addition to this, they interviewed 45 serving PCSOs. They also analyzed differences in demographics of officer applicants and recruits. Finally, they gave a survey to all of the members of the Safer London Panel.  The authors concluded that the PCSO has been very successful in recruiting a diverse workforce. They stressed the importance, not simply of financial access to formal education, but equal access to institutions development progra=3

                VI. The problem of discrimination

                            Decker, L. K. and Huckabee, R. G. (2002). Raising the age and education requirements for police officers: Will too many women and minority candidates be excluded? International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 25(4): 789 – 802

                The authors of this article highlight concerns over discrimination in the development of new education requirements on the police force. They provide a historical look at the hiring of women and minorities on the workforce and the obstacles each group faced. In addition to this, Huckabee and Decker show the measures the government has taken to combat discrimination in the work place. The two authors present the fact that women and minorities are still “under represented” in the police force. Huckabee and Decker also publish the fact that most successful applicants to the police force lack four-year degrees.


    The importance of informal education. (2016, Jun 28). Retrieved from

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