Reflection on Familiar Terms by Harold Stolovitch

15 04 2009

Last week I purchased the book Telling Aint’ Training by Harold Stolovitch

I had actually attended a workshop facilitated by Harold around two years ago and was impressed by his candor and ability to lead participants on a journey of discovery around their perceptions about training, instruction, education and learning.

Harold’s definitions of these terms are definitely worth a quick reflection.  To paraphrase and quote Harold:

“In training, our purpose is to create a change in learners that they consistently reproduce without variations”.  The is the classical behaviorism of B.F Skinner and Ivan Pavlov that is applicable to both humans and animals where tasks can be executed without thinking and become automatic.

“Instruction helps learners generalize beyond the specific of what is taught so learning can be adapted to each new set of conditions.”

“Education conveys a more long-term and broader connotation than do training and instruction, whihc are generally short-term and narrowly focused.  The purpose of education is to build general mental models and value systems.”

“Learning is change.  Don’t forget that the whole reason for training, instruction and education is to enable people to learn.”

Harold’s hierarchy of terms is the key to developing learner-centric and performance-based experiences that transform learners and thus cause meaningful change in their lives.




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