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In the following essay the author will seek to define what is meant by learning, training and development.
Hager (2001) states that, the term "learning" is used commonly in very diverse ways, perhaps reflecting widespread recognition that there are many different sorts of learning. The vagueness and ambiguity of the term "learning" is multiplied by the fact that it is commonly employed in both a task sense and an achievement sense.
Learning is a change in behaviour that results from the learner's interaction with the environment (experience) according to Michael and Modell (2003). The author would agree with Michael et al (2003) in that learning increases capacity and willingness of an individual to acquire and productively apply new knowledge and skills to grow and mature and adapt to changes and challenges. The author's interaction with the environment at college and at Debenhams has allowed him to increase his capacity and willingness to acquire new knowledge and skills.
However, Dawson (2004) argues that, learning is not just about memorising facts. It also includes the development of skills, knowledge, critical thinking and power of argument. Learning also helps us to carry out tasks more successfully and more efficiently. Learning has allowed the author to develop critical thinking and power of argument. The author now no longer just memorises facts but finds out the truth behind the facts. Learning has allowed the author to understand things in a deeper way.
Fisher & Frey (2008) define learning as an increase in the amount of response rules and concepts in the memory of an intelligent system and further state that learning includes academic studies and occupational training. Response rules and concepts have empowered the author to make wise choices, solve problems and break new ground in areas they never knew before.
How do people learn?
Dunn and Dunn (1978) state that "learners are affected by their: (1) immediate environment (sound, light, temperature, and design); (2) own emotionality (motivation, persistence, responsibility, and need for structure or flexibility); (3) sociological needs (self, pair, peers, team, adult, or varied); and (4) physical needs (perceptual strengths, intake, time, and mobility). "
However, Kolb (1984) research found that people learn in four ways with the likelihood of developing one mode of learning more than another. As shown in the 'experiential learning cycle' below learning is:
through concrete experience
through observation and reflection
through abstract conceptualization
through active experimentation
The author would agree with Kolb et al (1984 who states that people can develop more than one mode of learning and also would agree with Dunn et al (1978) who state that learners are affected by their immediate environment, own emotionality, sociological needs and physical needs. The author feels over the years they have developed more than one way of learning and that they are affected by the environment, own emotionality, sociological needs and physical needs.
Training can be defined as making available to employees planned and coordinated educational programmes of instruction in professional, technical or other fields that are or will be related to the employee's job responsibilities. This is according to the United States General Accounting Office (2004). The author continually undergoes training arranged and coordinated by his employer Debenhams; this has enable him understand and master his tasks and perform them to the expected standard.
BNET Business Dictionary (2010) defines training as, activities designed to facilitate the learning and development of new and existing skills, and to improve the performance of specific tasks or roles. Training may involve structured programs or more informal and interactive activities such as group discussion or role playing which promote experiential learning.
The author would agree with BNET Business Dictionary et al (2010) that training is an educational process where people learn new information, re-learn and reinforce existing knowledge and skills which can help them improve their effectiveness at work. Training has helped the author in their par individual development. Training helps an organisation respond to challenges of its competitors. It involves presentation and learning of content as a means for enhancing skill development and improving workplace behaviours. Training has helped the author meet specific deficiencies in skills and enhanced existing ones. Training is a learning process that has helped the author acquire knowledge, sharpened their skills, and changed their attitude, behaviour and enhanced their performance at work.
Development has many meanings depending on the context it is being talked about. "Development is any activity which helps us be more effective and learn," University of Aberdeen (2009). Development has helped the author become more effective in his learning. Development is empowerment; it is about taking control of your own life and finding solutions to your own problems.
Van Wagner (2009) describes development as, the growth of humans throughout their lifespan, from conception to death and that this includes all aspects of human growth, including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual, and personality development." However, Advanced Oxford Learners Dictionary (2006) defines development as transforming of people's ways of living/doing things for the better. The author agrees with Van Wagner et al (2009) that development is a life- long process, as we never stop growing. The author has seen and experienced growth in different areas of their life and is still growing to meet different areas of their endeavours.
Development is the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming, Maslow (1996). The author would agree with Maslow et al (1996) that development is becoming more and more what one is, and everything that one is capable of becoming. The author is currently persevering to become the best they can be. The author would agree with Kyi and Clements (2008) who state that, "the history of the world shows that peoples and societies do not have to pass through a fixed series of stages in the course of development." The author's development has not been a fixed series of stages; instead their development has been rather random depending on circumstances their life.
The author would agree with Dawson et al (2004) that learning is not just about memorising facts. It also includes the development of skills, knowledge, critical thinking and power of argument. Learning has helped the author know facts, develop skills, knowledge, grown in critical thinking and power of argument.
Training as provided at Debenhams, the author's employer has helped in enhancing their effectiveness at work.