What is training?

Posted by Doc
Nov 13 2010

Doing what we call “training” for a while, I’m reflecting on what it means.

I tend to think of training in terms of providing information, guidance, exercise, and correction in order to help others develop some level of understanding and skill.

I’m forced to consider whether what I do on a day-to-day basis is actually training, or is something else.

I am definitely teaching, in the sense of pedagogy: I deliver information, attempt to engage with the students, and check to see if it’s sinking in.

I am definitely providing all the tools and environment and – in some cases – exercises people need to learn.

A lot of what I’m teaching (or enabling others to learn) is intellectual: principle, values, philosophy, attitude. While there is some skills acquisition as part of it, there’s so much more.

Is that training? Or is it something else?

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3 Responses

  1. Bob Marshall says:

    Rather more useful as a question might be “is training the best means to achieve the outcomes / purpose for which you (and your students, etc.) are using it?”

    – Bob

  2. Google “define: training”. I think you may be dealing with an issue of connotation here rather than one of denotation. There is nothing in the definition of the word training to suggest that passing on heuristics for problem solving and providing opportunities for independent problem solving cannot be a part of a training exercise.

    Rather, it may simply be your experience that anything dubbed “training” is not evocative of or not encouraging of independent thought. Having attended public school in this country, more of my experience with “training” has been of the rinse, lather and repeat variety than not. I firmly maintain that most of my problem solving (analytical thinking) and design skills originated in AP English (and where further refined therein) rather than math. science, art, or industrial tech. Too often our kids are taugh e=mc2 because I the science teacher say so dang it!

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