What is Incidental Learning: What YOU Need To Know by Gift U. Esema


What is Incidental Learning?

Incidental Learning is a form of learning that does not involve a direct form of instruction/message. It is a learning process in which students gets to know about a thing/subject without being told or instructed.



Incidental learning occurs in the day-to-day life of a child. Nevertheless, it can be influenced by creating an atmosphere for it.

A group project in the classroom is a form of creating an atmosphere for incidental learning in a classroom. Students tend to learn about synergy, that is, the benefits of cooperating and combining ideas and also, how combined efforts can make a thing successful within a short period.

The students do the project but while doing the project, they learn these things without being told.

A young lady said, when I was a child, my dad paid for separate motorcycles to convey us to the same destination.

I grew up knowing that my dad’s values don’t support a male and a female on a motorcycle 

The father of that young lady created an atmosphere for incidental learning.


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Incidental learning includes things a person learns indirectly and parents, teachers and elders will create an atmosphere that can foster it in areas meaningful to them.

A man who wants his younger siblings or the younger boys in his neighbourhood to respect women can create an atmosphere for incidental learning to achieve that.

One of the ways to do that is to treat, relate and speak to women with respect and honour their words.

The younger boys will grow knowing that women are valuable and can be frontrunners too and these boys tend to respect women.

Incidental learning occurs through the play of actions without a form of direct information about the learning.

One of the most difficult knowledge to erase are the knowledge acquired incidentally. Anything can be learned incidentally because it involves the play of actions and these actions sticks and become part of the person be it positive or negative. 

Know More.

A learner can grow to have a pessimistic view of life depending on how he sees people around him react or respond to situations. This cannot be corrected easily because such learner wouldn’t see anything wrong in his perspective as he will feel its normal and the ideal way to respond/ react to the issues of life. 

Growing in this knowledge will not only hinder the learner from doing great, but limit how far he can get to because he would keep stopping himself with “can’t’, “no hope”, “if only”, “what if”, “I should have” and other phrases that can restrict someone from making a move. In like manner, another learner can grow to have an optimistic view of life depending on how the people around him react/ respond to situations.

There are advantages and disadvantages of incidental learning. Educators, incidental learning can be the reason why a learner stays positive and study more. It can also be the reason why another learner gives up on school and wonder the reasons for the existence of education.

This form of learning has a huge impact on learners because it governs their behaviours over time. For this reason, it is important to be mindful of how we respond/ react to things especially in the presence of learners because their subconscious notes it and would display when the need arises.

A Fact.

Sometimes ago, a friend spoke on the pressure on the male gender to be independent. While speaking, I said this pressure is on both genders and he said it is more on the male gender. Then I said this is the mentality people of this race have. It is so sad that many young ladies have grown up with the philosophy that they do not have much to do with their lives other than get married, give birth, take care of children and die. This I do not blame them for but this philosophy is because they grew up learning from their parents/environment incidentally that they do not really have much to do with their lives other than the above stated.


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Incidental Learning forms up and get into becoming a philosophy so it is important to stay conscious of what you make learners and kids learn from you incidentally.

Influence the atmosphere of incidental learning positively in order to groom sane kids and lessen the problems of the world.

About The Author.

Gift U. Esema 

Writer, Public Speaker, Talkshow Host.

Gift is a Nigerian passionate about the growth and lifestyle of teenagers and young adults. She reaches out to them through writing, public speaking and her talkshows.

She believes that everyone deserves to live their best and become successful individuals and this makes her tireless in her advocacy for growth.

Her passion for the growth of young people led her to write her first book “YOU GROW” published on Amazon in 2018.

Click on “Purchase Now” to get your copy.

This same passion led her to write to Educators weekly on how learning can be made easier for learners. This weekly series is tagged #EducatorsTalk #TuesdaysWithGiftEsema started May 2020.

She was interviewed on Cool Teens Club of Cool FM Lagos in 2017 and Voyage Dallas Magazine,  Dallas,  Texas in April, 2021.

Gift is a reader and a big fan of online courses. Some of her completed courses are in Effective Writing Skills,  Educational Psychology, Business Communication and Communication. She believes in self-development amidst life’s challenges or circumstances.

She also has the mind of an entrepreneur, she is into Fashion Designing, Footwear Making and good with Interior Decoration.

Gift is a lover of God who glorifies Him always because she knows that He alone gave her all that she has.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share and leave a comment.

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