Daily Buzz: The Difference Between Learning and Education

“Learning” and “education” are not synonymous. Here’s what they each mean—and what your organization should focus on. Also: an adorable moment at the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting.

They say knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s never too late to get in the know on the difference between “learning” and “education.”

Jeff Cobb from Mission to Learn defines learning as “the lifelong process of transforming information and experience into knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes.” Education, on the other hand, is just one structured option within this process.

Why does it matter?

“When we equate learning with education, we’re more likely to focus on generating answers. On providing structure; on optimizing for performance and achievement,” Cobb says. “Real learning, on the other hand, is about questions, about navigating ambiguity. To reference my definition again, it is as much about attitude and behavior as it is about knowledge and skills. Arguably it is more about these things in our current environment.”

Other than getting smart on the way we communicate on these topics, Cobb says organizations—and people as a whole—need to place more emphasis on real learning.

“Learning is not confined within the walls of an institution or the structure of a class. It happens in the flow of life. It is rooted in physicality and emotion as much as in cognition,” he says. “When we shift to seeing learning in this way, it becomes much easier to recognize and take advantage of the myriad opportunities for learning that we encounter daily.”

Cute Sights at ASAE’s Annual Meeting

Nothing says “Good morning!” like a meet and greet with baby animals. Attendees at this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Columbus, Ohio, were met by furry and feathery friends from the Columbus Zoo on their way to morning sessions. The critters didn’t have much to say about associations—but hey, at least they’re cute!

Other Links of Note

Need membership recruitment inspiration? The Wild Apricot blog offers 101 ways to increase membership counts.

Defining employee roles can add value to team members’ jobs, says Nonprofit Hub.

For meeting planners feeling overwhelmed, MeetingsNet offers a stress-management guide to help prevent burnout.

(ThomasVogel/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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