Another dot in the blogosphere?

Training vs professional development

Posted on: July 10, 2014

I wish people would not mistake professional development for training and vice versa. The terms are not synonymous.

Training is largely part of implementing standardized processes. A reliable strategy is often practice or drill so that the learnt behaviour practically becomes muscle memory. Examples where training might be valid include fire drills, form filling, and production line manufacturing.

Trainees often do not have a choice, opinion and negotiation are off the table, and compliance is the name of the game. There is still a need for training because machines have not completely replaced people.

But unless you are teaching educators how to perform CPR or use a proprietary system, there is little need to train them.

Professional development is more about mindsets, values, complex decision-making, and individual agency. It is about strategically letting go instead of hanging on in vain. It is about managing instead of controlling, nurturing creativity instead of depriving choice, and leading instead of bossing. It is about treating people as people.

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