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IPC Training vs. Teaching – Continuing Education


Commentary by: Leo Lambert, Vice President, Technical Director, EPTAC Corporation

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”, Benjamin Franklin[1]

So How do we Learn?
According to William Glasser[2]

We Learn

  • 10% of what we READ
  • 20% of what we HEAR
  • 30% of what we SEE
  • 50% of what we SEE and HEAR
  • 70% of what is DISCUSSED with OTHERS
  • 80% of what is EXPERIENCED PERSONALLY
  • 95% of what we TEACH TO SOMEONE ELSE

Every once in a while I get questions which I think are ‘Why are they asking me this?” Of course they would not be asking if they knew the answer, so it is good they are asking, but I wonder how we need to keep up with all the new information being made available in microseconds on a daily basis.

I’m bombarded daily with magazines, both hard and soft copies, and many times there are articles that are pertinent to my particular interest, so I read through them and decide whether or not to keep them, reference them or whatever. But the question is, “Does everyone do this?” My thought process says NO, that’s why they keep asking the questions.

Training is an educational method of learning, as you learn by doing. Teaching is another method of transferring the information to the attendees or students. But what do people do on their own? What initiative do people have to continue learning? We, as individuals need to keep up with our particular fields of interest that is of course, we must have an interest to do so; therefore, this is my question.

Why do we need to keep learning?

Training [ˈtreɪnɪŋ] [3]

  1. a. Noun –  the process of bringing a person, etc., to an agreed standard of proficiency, etc., by practice and instruction
  2. Trainer –  Noun– one who trains other persons

Teach: the word has many alternate definitions, including:

  • To cause to know something
  • To guide the studies of
  • To impart the knowledge of
  • To instruct by precept, example, or experience

Definitions for train are:

  • To form by instruction, discipline, or drill
  • To make prepared for a test of skill[4]

Note: training focuses on skill; the definitions imply a narrower focus than teaching and possibly a shorter timeframe. We might associate training with the notion of exercises that we repeat until we “get” the skills we are trying to acquire – until they become almost second nature.

The definitions for teaching, in contrast, imply deeper knowledge and a longer timeframe. We often hear the term “lifelong learning,” but I can’t recall ever hearing about “lifelong training.”

So as teachers we impart knowledge, we provide information based upon the different specification used by the industry. As Trainers we provide instructions on how to make solder joints, how to repair solder joints in solder training program, how to remove and replace components, in the repair programs such at IPC-7711/7721, how to handle the tools and we have the students repeat the drills so they may learn the skills required to become proficient in those particular skills.

So Teaching fills the minds while training shapes habits.[5] As a society we cannot survive by building tomorrow’s products with yesterday’s skills. We must continue to learn, it is a must.


[1] http://profmsr.blogspot.com/2008/08/teaching-vs-training.html#ixzz123d7jiKu


[2]www.enhancelearning.ca

[3] Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

[4] Gary Pollice, Professor of Practice, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Gary Pollice is a Professor of Practice at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, MA. He teaches software engineering, design, testing, and other computer science courses, and also directs student projects. Before entering the academic world, he spent more than thirty-five years developing various kinds of software, from business applications to compilers and tools. His last industry job was with IBM Rational Software, where he was known as “the RUP Curmudgeon” and was also a member of the original Rational Suite team. He is the primary author of Software Development for Small Teams: a RUP-Centric Approach, published by Addison-Wesley in 2004. He holds a B.A. in mathematics and M.S. in computer science.

Summary: from The Rational Edge: How does teaching differ from training? Which is more valuable to both employees and organizations? Pollice ponders these questions in his column, with an eye toward balancing theory with practice

[5] http://profmsr.blogspot.com/2008/08/teaching-vs-training.html#ixzz123d7jiKu