Differentiate between the concepts of
Learning, training, development and education :
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Learning as one of the
act or experience of one that learns
or skill acquired by instruction or study
of a behaviour tendency by experience
While the Higher Education and Training Awarding Council
describe learning as a process by which a substantial change in a learners’
knowledge, skill, or competence occurs as a result of experience .
It is a basic instinct possessed by all individuals.
It is a process of adopting knowledge, value and skills .
It is an ongoing process with no real time limits or
constraints. Individuals are always learning from birth to death.
It is a process of absorbing information to increase skills
It equips a learner for the future as well as the present
needs and helps prepare for unexpected situations.
It is often times an informal process as it can be
knowledge gained through experience.
It evolves at a personal level for which there are no set
It encompasses training, education and development.
Self directed learning takes place where students /
learners determine their own learning needs, and set learning objectives and
evaluate learning outcomes.
Training is a systematic process through which an
organisation’s human resources gain knowledge and develop skills by instruction
and practical activities that result in improved corporate performance. It has
an important role in achieving higher employee performance and meeting
It tends to be delivered over shorter periods of time.
It focuses on the present needs of the organisation or
It shows the learner ‘how’ to perform a certain task or
skill as opposed to understanding ‘why’ things are done a certain way.
It is usually delivered by a trained and can involve group
Where possible it uses practical, hands on experience and
students are more actively involved in the learning. Tis can include such
activities as role play, case studies which promote experiential learning.
It can be delivered in classroom based course setting or
on-the-job training .
It has a narrow perspective as is generally used to teach a
specific task or skill in order to achieve a change of attitude, skill or
knowledge in a specific area.
Its success is measured by some form of evaluation or assessment
at the end of the process.
It is a key function of Line managers and/or HR Dept to
identify training needs within an organisation.
The requirement for training can be drive by external factors.
These can include regulatory requirements, legal requirements or the
introduction of new technologies.
It produces improvements in the quality of the labour
force, which in turn is one of the most important contributors to national
Development is defined as the growth or realisation of a
person’s ability, through learning from planned study or experience.
It is a long term investment in human resources and is a
continuous process, hence its scope is comparatively wider than training.
It focuses on the future needs/growth of the individuals
It helps prepare individuals for jobs they may undertake in
the future, and to bring efficiency and effectiveness to their work
It tends to be initiated by the individual rather than the organisation.
It is not limited to a specific task but aims to improve
personality and attitude for all round growth to help individuals face future
It allows an individual to develop his skills and abilities
through conscious and unconscious learning.
It includes education, training as well as a range of other
activities such as coaching, mentoring, listening and looking.
Education is a lifetime investment and tends to be
initiated by a person in an area of his/her interest. It is seen as relating to
a more formal academic background. It is a process through which a society
passes on the knowledge, values and skills from one generation to another.
Education is acquired by individuals and greatly influences
the mind and character of an individual.
It is a comparatively longer term than training.
It involves theoretical learning in the classroom,
institute of education, or an outside source and is well organised.
It is more general learning with less hands-on approach to
Education teaches about general concepts i.e. the ‘Knowing
Why’ as opposed to ‘Knowing How’.
It develops a sense of reasoning and judgement in the
Its success is usually measured `by a formal exam at the
end of the education period or through a series of continual assessment
examinations during the course of the program.