Training is a Terrible Word
The other day I was speaking with a client about the training courses that SunShower offers. I heard myself say, “but training is just a terrible word, isn’t it?” She laughed and agreed. We joked that training is for dogs and maybe some cats. It was funny, and, as I thought about it afterwards, I have to say that there is something to using the word (and approach) training – especially in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Do we want to train people in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Do we want people to simply perform what we train them to do? Or do we want people to learn and grow?
It got me thinking about training and that I decided that I’d like to use a better word, education. The next day, as sometimes happens, an article by Amna Khalid and Jeffrey Aaron Snyder came across my feed. This excellent article addresses training versus education directly. Here’s an excerpt.
“Here are some things training is good for: customer service, Excel and CPR. One thing it’s not good for: diversity, equity, and inclusion. At a time when trainings are proliferating across institutions of higher learning, people could be forgiven for confusing training with education. But they are vastly different and should be seen as such especially when it comes to issues of diversity. The purpose of education, bell hooks reminds us, is critical thinking. Requiring “courage and imagination,” the “heartbeat of critical thinking is the longing to know — to understand how life works.” With Hooks’s words in mind, here are 10 ways to tell training and education apart.
- Training makes assumptions; education challenges them.
- Training is packaged; education cannot be contained.
- Training rewards compliance, education curiosity.
- Training is having to say something, education having something to say.
- Training tells you what to think; education teaches you how to think.
- Training answers questions; education poses them.
- Training is generic; education all about context.
- Training simplifies the world; education reveals its complexity.
- Training promotes conformity, education independence.
- Training is performative; education is transformative.
Training has its uses. It can even save lives. (See CPR above.) But training is woefully inadequate when it comes to confronting social problems such as poverty, discrimination and racism. These are long-standing, knotty, and complex issues that defy ready-made solutions. Any serious effort to address them must start with education, a process for which there are no shortcuts.”
The authors continue by laying out two hypothetical examples of how to deal with issues of race and diversity with the two approaches, training and then education. It’s worth reading the entire article.
More From Our Blog…
The Launch of SunShower Learning’s New Webinar Series, DEI Discussions
SunShower Learning is thrilled to announce the launch of our new webinar series, DEI Discussions, which is designed to provide insightful, action-oriented sessions on a variety of DEI topics. Our first webinar, “Want to Succeed? Stop Hiring People Like You!”, took...
Joel Lesko, Filmmaker and Founder of SunShower Learning, will speak at the 2023 International Peace Conference
Joel Lesko will be a speaker at the 2023 International Peace Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 5 - 6, 2023. The event is being hosted by Rotary International District 6860 (North and Central Alabama) in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute...
What’s going on in there?
Listen to the Hidden Brain: Revealing Your Unconscious podcast and find outA friend texted me about a podcast he thought I would enjoy. The show notes piqued my interest: “We ask how is it that we can hold negative stereotypes — without being aware of them?” If you’ve...
You can’t see me
Associated PressExamples of racial double standards in sports abound. Athletes of different races are frequently treated differently based on their race, and the recent NCAA women’s basketball national championship laid this bare. Near the end of a game, LSU’s Angel...
Reclaiming the Water
Why I’m in awe of the Howard University swimming and diving team By Gina Miller When we follow threads back through history, appalling origins or explanations for certain contemporary social issues / racial matters are often discovered. This was my experience when I...
Chances are your hiring process is riddled with bias
Inclusive hiring is the practice of minimizing bias and creating an equitable recruitment, application, interview, selection and offer process for a diverse set of candidates. It’s critical for attracting and retaining a diverse, engaged and innovative talent pool....