Learning vs Development
Learning and development are components of the core strategy that is employed in organizations as part of human resource development. This is one field that is an outcome of a constant desire of companies and organizations to improve the performance and efficiency of the employees in work settings. It is variously referred to as training and development and human resource development in different parts of the world. Many people, including those who implement such strategies, often confuse between learning and development and some even view these activities as interchangeable. However, there are subtle differences between learning and development that will be highlighted in this article.
Learning is a process that increases our knowledge. We keep learning new things all our lives whether it is learning to walk, cycling, swimming, dancing, skating, climbing, or even learning new concepts in different subjects or new languages. We can learn from books or from teachers, peers, parents or even strangers. One can learn from animals, inanimate objects, and nature. In an organization, it is the aim of the managers to make their employees knowledgeable. Thus, learning is an important part of training in any organization at all levels of employees.
Learning takes place at all ages, and one learns, when put in a new situation, to make sense and be more comfortable. Any change in our behavior as a result of a new experience is said to be learning. We could learn new skills described above or learn games or languages.
Development is all about mastering skills and incorporating these skills into behavior to turn them into habits. You make a person sit in a classroom and try to impart knowledge about how to fly an airplane. Yes, you can make him understand the parts of an airplane and the theory of how it works, in addition to describing how and what to do to fly the plane, but unless the person gets practical training and flies the plane himself in different situations, he cannot develop as a pilot. Development is concerned with action and not knowledge based skill that comes through learning.
In the process of development, more important than learning is practice so as to allow individuals to incorporate new skills as habits. Development is a process that takes place after learning but requires constant practice and refinement so as to turn the newly learnt skills into behaviors or habits.
Development is also a body process that describes the growth of our thinking and problem solving abilities. This development is close to the biological development that takes place with age and is almost complete by the time we are young or in our teens.
What is the difference between Learning and Development?
• Learning and development is a field that has become an integral art of human resource management in organizations. It is concerned with improving the performance and behavior of the employees in organizations.
• Change of behavior as a result of training or experience is termed as learning
• Learning is all about making employees knowledgeable while development is concerned with making employees incorporate new skills into their behavior as habits
• Practice and refinement allows for development while training is what accounts for learning