I’ve always felt that August 1 is the “hinge” of summer. When I was growing up, school didn’t start until after Labor Day, so the First of August was the day when I felt an inward turn toward the fall, but there was still plenty of summer left. The best, most relaxing time in some ways – usually camp and family trips were over and all that remained before the frenzy of back-to-school shopping were long fragrant days and subtly shortening evenings serenaded by crickets. As the month went on, the anticipation of a new school year ramped up – anxiety and excitement in equal measure. I suspect that for many adults, we still feel the muscle-memory of Fall = School!
With that in mind, CCCC is pleased to offer a webinar this month on Palliative Care Education Opportunities in California. Our speakers will present information on their respective programs – representing a variety of formats, target students, and content – but we’ll also talk about the challenges and needs that prompted development of their offerings, goals, and process and outcome measures.
Throughout my career as an educator, in a variety of more and less formal settings, I’ve had many debates about whether to call what I/we do “education” or “training.” What’s the difference? Does it matter?
Here’s a stab at the differentiation offered by an endearingly named outfit called “EduBrite”:
- Training is more specific and focused, while education is broader and covers a wider range of topics
- Training is usually shorter in duration, while education can last for many years
- Education provides students with theoretical knowledge, while training provides them with practical skills
- Education prepares people for a career, while training prepares them for a specific job
- Education often occurs in a formal setting such as a school or college, while training can be obtained from many different sources.
- The cost of education is usually higher than the cost of training (excerpted from “What is the difference between training and education?” 2021, EduBrite blog)
Or, as a cynical friend of mine put it, “Education is for people; training is for dogs.” Ouch. I wouldn’t go that far, but I’m not sure I agree with the sharp, binary distinctions EduBrite makes either. Taking just a couple of these insufficiently and inconsistently punctuated sentences:
Education provides students with theoretical knowledge, while training provides them with practical skills: Nah. “Skills” per se without context, the how without the why, are empty actions – especially in a field or activity that involves interpersonal interactions, as any patient–provider encounter does. And, in my experience, all “education” entails specific skills.
Training is usually shorter in duration, while education can last for many years: I would argue that many skills take many years to hone and perfect. A notable example would be the skill of a healthcare professional having a productive and meaningful conversation, within constraints of time and space, with a patient about their goals of care! And more than once, I’ve had my understanding of an entire enterprise or concept enlarged or turned inside-out in the space of a TedTalk.
Education often occurs in a formal setting such as a school or college, while training can be obtained from many different sources: Any person who has been alive and sentient over the past 3 (really, 50 at least) years knows that “education” can be obtained in many settings that don’t rise to the level of a formal “school” or “college.” Our webinar will present several excellent examples of such settings.
So what do I think the difference between “training” and “education” is? Semantics. And marketing. A bullet item EduBrite left off is an observation a colleague once shared with me: Employers are more likely to pay for “training” than “education,” so call it “training” and more people can get their costs covered. Hmmm. “Training” for some might sound less daunting or more practical; for others it might sound superficial and lacking in long-term value.
Training, education; potayto, potahto. I hope we can agree on one thing: We can all benefit from learning, practicing, perfecting our skills, our knowledge, and our understanding of palliative care. Join us on the 15th to explore California-based approaches!