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Teaching vs Training What is the difference?

In the nuanced field of Close Protection, many of us lack the depth of knowledge required and are therefore prone to falling for the inflated promises of numerous training providers who frequently fall short of their assurances. This disparity in understanding may be clear to some, but not to others, primarily due to a lack of clarity about what is truly needed for effective teaching and training development. Let me shed some light on this.

Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that although teaching and training are often used interchangeably, they differ significantly in practice. Each has its utility depending on the context, yet the presence of one may sometimes compromise the effectiveness of the other, thus necessitating a balanced approach. It is vital for those in charge of education and training to recognize these distinctions and know how to implement each effectively.

Clear Definitions

Teaching is usually defined as “to cause to know something, to guide the studies of, to impart knowledge, or to instruct by example, precept, or experience.” Training, however, is designed “to form by instruction, discipline, or drill” or “to make prepared for a test or skill,” often focusing on the physical and mental preparation for a specific task or skill.

To put it another way, teaching is aimed at embedding deep, lasting knowledge, while training is focused on equipping individuals with the necessary skills to efficiently perform specific tasks, typically on a short-term or one-time basis like job training.

Differences in Focus

Teaching generally covers a broader scope and is more theoretical, whereas training is about the practical application of knowledge. Teaching introduces new knowledge, while training develops specific skill sets in those who are already knowledgeable.

The objective of teaching is to enrich the mind, contrasting with training, which aims to shape habits or performance. This is similar to the distinction between Theoretical Science and Applied Science, relevant in fields like Close Protection and Clinical Skills for Prehospital Emergency Care.

While teaching often takes place in an academic setting, training is linked more with practical applications, highlighting the difference between thinking and doing. Essentially, teaching involves helping someone to know, while training is about enabling someone to do.

Teaching and Training Working Together

There are situations where teaching and training need to be integrated. For instance, a skilled singer might be well-trained but not knowledgeable about the theory behind her craft, such as understanding the movement of muscles during singing.

While robust training is essential for performing the physical aspects of singing, learning is also crucial. She must be versatile in various singing styles to apply her training effectively. In such cases, teaching ideally should come before training, but the training process might offer greater benefits to the singer.

When Training Interferes with Teaching and Vice Versa

There's a risk that training might disrupt teaching, especially when educational styles focus merely on preparing students for standardized tests, often training them to anticipate specific exam questions. This can be seen as malpractice and is unfair to students, as it doesn't accurately measure true learning and understanding.

Conversely, teaching can sometimes hinder training. For example, if a singer overanalyzes her performance during training, it could detract from her ability to perform instinctively. The part of the brain used for physical execution is different from that used for knowledge retention. Analyzing during performance can disrupt her natural flow, necessitating a focus purely on training to enhance her physical and mental abilities.

Balancing the Two

It is generally necessary to enhance teaching with training and vice versa. If someone possesses the academic or theoretical knowledge necessary for a role, they will inevitably require some practical training. Conversely, any training program is enriched by ongoing, deeper knowledge acquisition. Striking a balance between the two allows an individual to not only understand and perform but also to innovate and contribute effectively.


Something to think about!

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