April 11, 2016

“Some stray thoughts, in no particular order, gathered over time, on the differences between education and training, from the lens of custom content creation for diverse companies across the world.

 Education (even vocational education) is far transfer; training is near transfer. Hence the obsession of training with application (“I don’t care what they learn; I’m only interested in how they do their jobs better”), with reducing time to competence (the Holy Grail of training), with rapid development (they need everybody to be more competent now).

 Education emphasizes first principles; training emphasizes application.

 Education focuses on building the mind; training on building skills.”  (quoted from a blog by Geetha Krishna in “TRAINING MAGAZINE NETWORK”)

Robert Maynard Hutchins, America’s great twentieth century educator wrote, “The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”

This blog has regularly focused on “training” issues — with an occasional foray into the “education” world.  Readers will know that there are only two major tests for a successful training program:  longer retention and increased on-the-job performance.

“In an era when many recession-scarred parents have come to view college as a path to a higher income bracket, Nelson dares to define it as the route to a life well-lived.

 ‘As important as the world of work is to us, we don’t live in order to get a job,’ he told an audience in San Francisco this year. ‘But we work in order to make it possible for us to live a good life.’”   (from a WASHINGTON POST” article by Daniel de Vise,“At St. Johns, a Defender of Liberal Arts” that featured comments by Christopher Nelson, President of St. John’s College)

 Today, higher education (including much vocational education) is failing their “a life well-lived” purpose and focusing too heavily on only the skills side of the equation.

As Robert Maynard Hutchins predicted, “The specialization of American education has robbed students of the ability to communicate with other students outside of their field. . . . a student of biology cannot converse meaningfully with a student of mathematics because they share no common educational experience.”

On the other hand, skills training is markedly moving forward —- primarily due to the increased application of technology learning.

“Education” and “training” both have their purposes.  At this moment, training is doing a better job of fulfilling theirs.

More on Wednesday –  –  –

      — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)