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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teach, Educate & Train

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I used the dictionary to see if it could help me in writing about this distinction.  Surprisingly, it did help.  But my hope for quoting anything wasn’t fulfilled.  I think most dictionaries try to cover so many bases that a word is used, that they provide twenty-four different definitions.  We really must consume and summarize those definitions internally (or categorize them into groups) to easily formulate any distinctions between different words.  Thankfully, I’ve done that for you in this chapter.

We may think that because teachers teach in an educational system, that these two words might mean the same thing.  Not quite.  To educate someone means to bring forth a new way of thinking, of reasoning, or evaluating different concepts.  It may have to deal with a new paradigm of research or presentation.  It may deal with exploring new ideas of morality or ethics.  And, like this book, it may introduce you to a higher depth of communication.

That’s what an education system should do, and hopefully that’s what happens as our society progresses from grade to grade, from elementary school to high school to college.  So what do teachers do?  They have a specific curriculum which they present to a class, day in and day out.  They utilize the same techniques to teach the same information only to different people.  The first couple of days of a class may be an “education” if the students aren’t familiar with the material.  After that, it’s reinforcing specific ideas and knowledge through lecturing, engaging in exercises, and memorization.

I may be biased in this, but I feel cultural exchange programs, for example, are more of an educational program because they allow the participants to constantly explore new ways of being, coping with different situations, and becoming flexible with an unknown outcome.  That’s why everyone usually learns completely different things from the same program.  That’s because each person is getting outside of their comfort zone, not a teacher’s arbitrary box.

Personal development programs are usually educational programs because they take us to a new paradigm of thinking.  They get us outside of the box.  Now, if we participate in the same program over a long period of time, we are then being trained.  Training happens when we repeatedly go through the same exercises, workshops or practices that help us reach a specific measurable result.

No logic or reasoning is needed for training.  We can’t train everyone to do calculus, but we can train everyone to be a cashier at McDonald’s.  That’s because there’s a synthesized training system that can accurately predict performance based on adequate training.  And that’s not to say anything bad about McDonald’s or being a cashier.  Quite the contrary, it’s a wonderful and powerful system which has revolutionized not only fast food, but many industries we enjoy today.

The advantage of training is that it is very predictable.  The advantage of educating is that it takes our minds and hearts to places that we haven’t been before.  The advantage of teaching, well, I think teaching is pretty obsolete.  That’s why we have millions of people coming out of high school who can’t find jobs.

Let's love the world together...

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary

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