This study aims to describe the current position of non-formal education (NFE) as a major educational force in the postmodern world, and to analyze its philosophical and theoretical assumptions. Far from being 'supplementary education' or 'extracurricular activities', NFE has developed into a worldwide educational industry. However, it has yet to be studied as an independent educational approach. Aimed at all ages and literacy levels, NFE challenges traditional concepts of education. It affects society as a whole and the life and conduct of individuals, and has influenced formal education, which has adopted many of its theoretical assumptions and pedagogical practices.