If you have followed my writing for a while you know I am a big fan of Seth Godin. I have read a number of his books, listened to podcast interviews and online talks and I subscribe to his daily blog. In a recent blog post he wrote about the difference between Education and Learning.
Education is the hustle for a credential. It exchanges compliance for certification. An institution can educate you.
Learning can’t be done to you. It is a choice and it requires active participation, not simple adherence to metrics.
Learning is the only place to find resilience, possibility and contribution, because learning is a lifelong skill that isn’t domain dependent.
As a trainer some of what you do falls under education. People in your class exchange compliance for certification. Outside of the education elements of training what we need to ask ourselves is, “How much learning is taking place in my classes?” and “What can I do to enhance the training experience to encourage learning?”
Because learning cannot be done to you, as a trainer you do not control learning. You control the learning environment. You control the delivery of the material and the activities, which will hopefully inspire learning in the participants.
Regardless of the Education you have, as a trainer you need to be continually and actively engaged in your own learning. Learning about the topics you teach. Learning about the science of learning. Learning about other topics that are connected and relevant to what you teach. Learning from the participants in the programs you teach. Learning from every class you teach as to how you can make it better for the next class.
You can learn through books, webinars, blogs, podcasts, courses and conferences (online and in person). You can learn from interviewing experts. You can learn from discussions and dialogues with other trainers. You can learn from every class you teach if you are open to the lessons that present themselves.
I believe we put too much emphasis on education, and not enough on learning. We ask about degrees, diplomas and certificates, and we often fail to ask about learning. It is important that we create a culture of learning in our organizations. This means we need to stop thinking of training as something done to people where we demand compliance, and see training as an active and engaging collaborative process where everyone is inspired to choose to learn.
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