The Difference Between Teaching & Training

Training often focuses on physical and mental preparation for a very specific task or skill.
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Teaching and training may be viewed as the same thing, but they actually have important distinctions. The question of teaching versus training can best be answered by considering the goals and learning outcomes of an instructional lesson. While using both methods is appropriate in certain circumstances, sometimes the presence of one may be detrimental to the other. Often, a teaching, training balance is necessary.

1 Defining Terms: Teaching Vs Training

Teaching is typically defined as imparting knowledge, guiding the study of a content area, or demonstrating how something works. Training seeks to inform by step-by-step instruction, repetitive drills and supervised practice of skills. Training is usually a one-time or short-term event, as with job training. Typically, training usually has a more specific focus than teaching, which seeks to instill a deeper knowledge over a longer period of time. People seeking to master hands on skills benefit such as using a cash register in a grocery store require training. Studying the history of a cash register is not relevant to running one.

2 Difference Between Teaching and Training

Teaching is usually broader in focus than training. Theory is taught, whereas training is the practical application of theoretical knowledge. Also, teaching seeks to impart new knowledge while training equips the already knowledgeable with tools and techniques to develop a specific skill set. One of teaching's goals is to enrich the mind while training's end is to mold habits or performance. Teaching is usually within the context of the academic world while training is generally associated with the commercial realm. Another difference is found between thought and action. Generally, teaching deals with a subject or topic, while training deals with a duty or function. Further, teachers give students feedback on the quality of their work, while trainers receive feedback from their trainees on the quality of instruction.

3 Relationship Between Teaching and Training

Teaching and training must work in tandem. For example, an excellent singer may be wonderfully trained but not necessarily taught about the theory of her craft. She may not know how a certain muscle moves when she sings. More importantly, she must have strong training in order to perform the physical tasks that make up a great performance. However, learning is involved here as well. A singer will inevitably will be required to sing in a specific style; therefore, learning various styles will allow her to apply her training appropriately. For this reason, teaching should precede training. However, the process of training can be of greater benefit to the singer. In other words, teaching and training can be complementary as opposed to question of teaching vs training.

4 When Teaching Interferes with Training

Care must be taken to ensure that training does not interfere with teaching, For example, when parents and teachers are fixated on classroom teaching that merely trains students for a standardized test. Similarly, teaching can, in certain circumstances, interfere with training. In the case of a singer, thinking about what she is doing while singing would actually distract her from the task at hand. The part of her brain that allows her to perform physically is different from that which is involved in knowledge acquisition. If she begins analyzing what she is doing in the moment, she will lose touch with her free-flowing actions. She must instead focus on training, including developing her muscles and mind to perform the action of singing.

5 Teaching, Training Balance

Enhancing teaching and training, each with the other, is generally necessary. If someone has the academic or theoretical knowledge required to flourish in a position, or at a function, she will no doubt need some kind of skill-set training at one point or another. On the other side, training will always be enriched when a deeper, longer-term knowledge is continually sought and acquired. Finding a balance between the two creates a person who not only can understand and perform but also can contribute, invent and lead.