Neither type of learning is inherently better. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and may be useful for different people under different circumstances.
The defining characteristic of incidental learning is the lack of intention to learn.
Ways incidental learning can vary. Incidental learning depends on:
Benefits of incidental learning:
There are also situations where incidental learning is ineffective, such as learning specific concepts for an exam.
You can use incidental learning by placing yourself in situations where you can learn without actively trying to learn.
For example, if you want to learn a new language but a course bores you, engage in activities such as video games and watching TV shows without actively trying to learn.
Incidental teaching involves teaching individuals in situations they're not trying to learn, such as a parent reading a historical novel to their child.
This form of teaching can be used in various situations, for example, as a naturalistic language intervention through adult-child interactions, such as play. Incidental learning is also used to help autistic people improve their social skills.
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