Sunday, July 4, 2010

Training, Instruction and Education...we need 'em all...

This was written almost a year ago...but re-posting it here...

I just finished reading Telling Ain't Training by Harold J. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps. I am going to quote them liberally in my response here. This book, incidentally, is a must read for all trainers, HR professionals and anyone remotely interested in understanding the nature of learning and in making a difference through training and instruction.

Purpose of Training:
1. To create a change
2. To make certain behaviors automatic
3. To enable the trainee/learner to apply as is to real-world situations
4. To enable learners to produce learned behavior with fewer errors, greater speed and under more demanding conditions
5. To focus ONLY on what is the performance outcome desired

Just being able to follow training guidelines and perform perfectly is not a necessary condition for survival; hence, the need for instruction.

Purpose of Instruction:
1. To help learners generalize beyond the specifics of what is taught
2. To apply learned behavior to similar but maybe not the exact same situation
3. To enable learners to act thoughtfully
4. To facilitate adaption of learning to each new situation

Purpose of Education:
This cannot be taught. This is an act the learner performs when s/he becomes capable--through experience, reflection, assessment--of pulling together all the strands and forming highly generalized patterns. This is directly linked to a learner's value system and outlook on life.

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