TOTEM – a youth center located in Villa S.Martino, Pesaro – shows another way of education. In opposite to the formal way in schools „learning by doing“ is the motto. That means there are no teacher-like leaders or trainers, who strictly aims to teach you different topics. Moreover this „learning-effect“ takes places more subconsciously. For example if youngsters are playing a boardgame in the centre and one of them is explaining the rules to the others – you gain values, skills and knowledge from the daily experience from your environment (family, neighbours, school or the youth centre) without even really noticing it.
That’s why informal institutions as like as the TOTEM youth centre has such a big impact on – especially young – people. You don’t have that feeling of pressure to immediatly learn something, but moreover gain knowledge through daily discussions, talks and games.
Another important point which differs informal education as like as the youth centre to formal school is that you can or better to say you are very welcome to do mistakes. You don’t get punished for failure (f.e. bad marks in school) – moreover you will learn through your mistakes.
Simple example: The youngsters in TOTEM explain each other the rules in a board game – one of them didn’t really understand them and lost one round. Next time he will for sure get better, because he subconsciously learn from his mistakes.
To conclude – the youth centre TOTEM for example can be a very good and helpful addition to formal schools, because youngsters will automatically gain knowledge and skills through human interaction and games without worrying that they are forced to learn something in a specific period of time. That’s why teamwork, emotional benefits and practical gained knowledge are more focused here than pure education.