The Difference Between Learning, Training and Education

Why It’s Important to Understand the Difference between Learning, Training, Education and Development in Performance Improvement Programmes

Well there are a number of very important reasons. As we all know, knowledge is locked up with the employees of a Company and it is this factor that determines how successful a business is. If as a manager you don’t understand this point, then the performance of the Company will be jeopardised.

So why is it important to understand the exact definition of these terms? Well it’s because they are used in an inexact way which is often interchangeable. People do not use them in an exact way or in accordance with their literal definitions. This will cause problems when you come to develop your employees as the inability to match your training, learning or development objectives with the right programme will not only result in you wasting valuable time but also wasting money and undermining your credibility in the eyes of your employees.

How often have we come across the serial moaner who comes out with, “oh no! not another training course to waste my time?” You need buy in on the part of staff, not barriers in order to maximise the return from your investment.

Call of the Wild Ltd place great emphasis on this issue when we initially meet with clients. It is important to understand what the objectives are and what will be the best programme to meet these objectives using our blended learning approach. We seek to clarify for the clients what the actual terminology means and what form of delivery is required so that they can get best value out of the programme.

In simple terms, education provides a knowledge base that underpins any other activities the individual may engage in at a later stage. Training is not as general and tends to concentrate on skills development. “Development” allows both activities to be integrated. It has been described as “the general enhancement and growth of an individual’s skills and abilities through conscious and unconscious learning”.

Development, therefore, includes education and training as well as a range of other activities such as coaching, looking, listening and mentoring. Learning is the outcome of both training-led and education-led approaches to development, yet learning itself is complex. It is far more than the shifting of knowledge or information from educator/trainer to the learner.

This is where Call of the Wild’s approach is different to others in that we recognise that people have different learning styles and we seek to focus on self-learning through our bespoke development programmes. We understand that learning is not simply something that takes place as a formal process in a classroom. We understand that there is a need to incorporate a wider range of activities in the typical learning mix – our blended learning approach.

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