"In a word: LEARNING" (NOT = "training") LO29416

From: Tadeems@aol.com
Date: 10/30/02

Replying to LO29411 --

Dick Webster writes, asking for perceptions on training vs. learning.

> "Training" is almost always, in almost all situations: "telling," i.e. the
> company does some manner of "needs assessment," seeking to determine who
> needs to know what, and then, with almost no exceptions, TELLS people
> where to go for training in what topics--as designed by those with
> "training" in ISD and delivered by those with "training" in presentation
> skills.


> "Learning: asking work groups what information and knowledge THEY want to
> deal with real and pressing business problems chosen by those doing the
> work, etc....

As an instructor of training and development for many years, and
researcher in the area of adult learning and development for far longer,
here's my take. First, I see training as a focus on a particular learning
context (most often geared towards workplace performance issues), and
learning that promotes change being the desired outcome. They are
distinct actions, but not necessarily unrelated.

The distinction provided in Webster's note speaks more of the difference
between teacher-centered and learner-centered (pedagogy and andragogy)
approaches rather than any real and significant difference between
training and learning.

True, "training" as is often seen in US and other organizations, is
largely teacher-centered (pedagogical approach, instruere, or putting in).
Learning may or may not occur through it. But training may also be
andragogically based (educere, or drawing out), as in the case of active
and experiential methods, and I have seen numerous great examples of this
within various workplaces. Learning becomes a more likely outcome.

Typically, "training" is viewed as any form of organized learning (as
opposed to informal and incidental learning) whose intention is to enhance
individual, group, or organizational performance. Learning, perhaps a
change in behavior, and impact on the organization are desireable outcomes
of training.

As a practitioner, what seems more important to me is the focus on the
adult as the learner (and through them the group and the organization),
the implications of this, and that learning methods appropriate to adults
are used (and too often, such methods are not used). Based on research,
this suggests an adragogical approach to organized learning. In terms of
learning retention and org performance, research suggests that the
pedagogical approach to training and learning is the least effective.


Terri A. Deems, PhD
WorkLife Design

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof
against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep [a person] in everlasting
ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation." (H. Spencer)

Des Moines Scottsdale Moline
515-964-0219 vitalwork@aol.com http://www.worklifedesign.com



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