Learning, Education and Training: Is that a Tautology or an Oxymoron?

By Patrick Bradbery.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The recent interest in the phenomenon of the learning organisation sparked largely by Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline has placed a spotlight on the three terms: learning; education; and training. Are they just different ways of describing the same thing, or are there important distinctions to be made? For example, the word learning is variously used to denote a process which produces “knowledge”, as well as the outcome of that process, as a proxy for “knowledge”. This paper examines the diversity of interpretations of these terms, as well as a number of related terms such as: information; knowledge; wisdom; and cognitive development to provide a more robust framework for evaluation of supposed learning organisations. The outcome of the examination is a model of the “learning” process that incorporates the essence of Kolb’s experiential learning theory, Allee’s knowledge archetypes, and Wilber's consciousness theory. This model, it is suggested, can be used to more accurately guide efforts to create learning organisations.

Keywords: Learning, Education, Training, Learning Organisation, Knowledge, Cognitive Development

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.75-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 835.761KB).

Dr. Patrick Bradbery

Manager, Professional Development Unit, Faculty of Commerce, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

I am currently manager of the Pofessional Development Unit in the Faculty of Business of Charles Sturt University. The PDU develops and administers specialist industry based courses, both accredited and non-accredited. I have had an extensive career in business management, as well as management education. I have had a long term interest in education and learning, particularly in the context of work organisations, and their leadership and management. My doctoral thesis is on learning, development and the learning organisation.

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