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Stop using the word "training" when discussing Learning and Development (L&D)

Updated: May 26, 2018

train·ing – the action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behavior.

learn·ing – the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.

Training vs. Learning
Training vs. Learning

The words alone tell a lot of the story. Training is about the act of teaching. It focuses on a specific learning event and doesn’t concern itself with the acquisition of knowledge or anything that comes after the teaching event (i.e. Learning Transfer).

This is the entire underlying philosophy of the Kirkpatrick model of evaluation, and why I am such a huge proponent of the philosophy. It’s also why I do what I do as an L&D professional. I chose this career, not because I am passionate about developing training content, but because I am passionate about making a difference with my training content.

So, why does this one word matter so much? Because it sets the stage for creating a certain culture within an organization or the learning industry at large. There is a vast difference between a training culture and a learning culture, and at the crux of it, is the minor (but not so minor) difference between the "act of teaching" philosophy and the "acquisition of knowledge" philosophy.

Read this article to learn more about the difference between a training culture and a learning culture.

So, join me in changing the way we talk about learning. Let’s create a culture where L&D is about making a difference.

#trainingculture #learningculture #learninganddevelopment #makeadifference

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