Thursday, 9 April 2015

“Is There a Difference between ‘Teaching’ and ‘Training’?" – Professor M.S.Rao

"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." - Albert Einstein

People are often confused between teaching and training and they use these terms interchangingly. In fact, both are different with specific goals and objectives. Here goes the difference between teaching and training.

Teaching emphasizes on sharing knowledge while training emphasizes on converting knowledge into skills and abilities. Teaching is theory-oriented while training is practical-oriented. Teaching is basically for enlightenment and empowerment while training is for both employment and employability. Teaching is a holistic process while training is only a segment of it. At times training is an extension of teaching. Teaching is a superset of training while training is a subset of teaching.

Teaching usually happens in conventional classroom environment while training is extension of classroom teaching which may involve outdoor activities.  Teachers make use of PowerPoint Presentations and whiteboard/blackboard accompanied by questioning and summarizing. Trainers adopt practical activities including role-plays, debates, group discussions, Just A Minute (JAM) sessions and experiential learning to name a few. Trainers mostly engage the audiences with interactive sessions.  Teaching is to equip with knowledge while training is to bring out behavioral changes in the participants. Teachers have a specific content and follow it. In contrast, trainers create their content as per the profile and expectations of the audiences. Hence, the content for teaching is mostly rigid while the content of training is flexible and tailor-made. Teaching emphasizes on sharing ideas and insights while training emphasizes on application of acquired ideas and insights.  In a nutshell, teaching is to acquire qualifications while training is to equip with competencies and capabilities.

Teaching equips with breadth of knowledge while training equips with depth of knowledge in a specific area. Teaching is often forgotten while training is often remembered for a long duration. Teaching equips with knowledge while training offers with tools and techniques to convert knowledge into skills and abilities. Additionally, training is to enhance employees’ performance to improve organizational bottom lines. Teaching cannot be measured easily while training can be measured easily.  Ideally teaching takes place in campus while training takes place in corporate.  Teaching involves abstract approach while training involves concrete approach. Hence, understand the difference and equip with qualifications and competencies to acquire enlightenment, empowerment, employment and employability. 

"What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand." - Confucius

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
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