For ages, people have used the words education and learning as synonyms. However, there’s a slight catch! The two aren’t the same as most people would believe. For example, when the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released the list of the world’s most educated countries in 2018, Canada topped with 56.27% of educated residents.
The list takes into account the number of residents aged between 25 – 64 years who have completed their tertiary education. However, the list doesn’t consider the learning methods or patterns these countries follow. Therefore, let’s take a closer look into what constitutes learning and how education is different from it.
What Is Learning?
Learning is the continuous process through which you acquire new skills or knowledge through the powers of observation and experience. Unfortunately, in school, students seem to confuse learning with memorization. In the case of the latter, you commit something to memory, but there’s no guarantee that you acquire any knowledge from the process.
Learning constitutes a change in behavior, either for the better or worse, due to practice or experience. It is a lifelong process as human beings learn something new or encounter new experiences throughout their lives.
For example, people in the 16th century would have never imagined communicating through a handheld device with someone on the opposite end of the earth. However, when the evolution of the mobile phone took the world by storm in the late 20th century, human beings had to learn how to make the most use of such a device. Now, you can shop online, transfer money, open a small business, and connect to millions of people across the globe with the same device that was intended for calling a person over a limited range.
Many consider learning to be both a process and an outcome. You can consider learning as a process through which you understand ideas, relate them and make connections between prior and present knowledge. As an outcome, it encourages you to think critically and make independent decisions based on the conclusions you reach. Furthermore, it helps you develop a new understanding or appreciation for something that had been unknown.
- The Different Types Of Learning
Every student has their preferred method of learning. For example, some are visual learners and can understand a topic more effectively if they watch videos or documentaries. However, there are also verbal learners who absorb information through communication with the aid of words, figures, signs, etc.
Keeping this in mind, there are six major types of learning methods that you can explore for better understanding:
- Verbal learning
- Motor learning
- Concept learning
- Paired associate learning
- Problem-solving learning
- Serial learning
What Is Education?
Education is the process of acquiring or providing knowledge through systematic instruction. It is a deliberate scientific process through which students receive knowledge, experience mental growth and develop their character. The primary purpose of acquiring education is to make long-lasting changes to habits and behavior so that there is a positive effect on the person’s mental, physical, and psychological well-being.
According to the National Centre On Education and the Economy, the top-performing countries in terms of education are:
- Hong Kong
The environment in which students acquire knowledge in these countries helps them develop their reasoning skills and prepares them to lead a well-mannered life in the future.
- Different types of education
There are primarily two modes of education:
- Formal education– It is the system through which you receive knowledge under the guidance of an instructor in a systematic learning environment. Thanks to technological innovations, formal education isn’t confined to face-to-face mode anymore. Instead, you get to enjoy the advantages of distance learning through teleconferencing and e-learning methods.
- Informal education– This mode of education involves acquiring knowledge from any source other than educational institutions. For example, you could gather knowledge through traveling, news, films, web series, games, etc.
Are Education And Learning The Same?
It might seem as though education and learning are the same on paper. But there are glaring differences that are apparent if you look close enough. So here’s a brief exploration into why you shouldn’t confuse between the two.
- The type of process
Learning is a natural process through which you unintentionally acquire information. It can be through your interactions with friends or strangers, encountering new experiences, and through the power of observation.
On the other hand, education is a deliberate process of acquiring knowledge, skills, and abilities through instructions in a controlled environment. There’s nothing natural in this process as the purpose is to obtain social competence through deliberate measures.
- Presence of an aid
In the case of learning, you may or may not need the guidance of another individual. In most cases, learning is an independent process whose essence is experience.
However, when it comes to education, the presence of a guide, teacher, or instructor is a must. Without their presence, it would be impossible to stimulate the controlled learning environment where these individuals would part knowledge. For example, if you sign up for a crash course on research paper writing, then you’d need the help of professional research paper writers to help you understand how to write a research paper through systematic steps.
- The age-limit
Learning is a life-long process. Since human society is ever-evolving, there is no shortage of the number of new things you can earn every day. At the ripe old age of 90, you might learn how to sew or bake a cake. Therefore, there’s no particular at which a person stops learning.
On the other hand, education is a systematic process where you must adhere to specific age groups. For example, you can’t expect to learn alphabets with kindergarten kids in school when you’re fifty years old. Similarly, you can’t expect to take college classes when you’re fifteen and haven’t finished high school yet.
- Systematic vs unsystematic
Learning is an entirely unsystematic process because it does not follow a set of rules. All you have to do is connect the dots from your past experience to your present to figure out information. It is a process where you can absorb knowledge through mere observation.
But education is a rigorous, systematic process that follows a rigorously planned curriculum designed by academic experts. These professionals apply scientific studies and methods to ensure students can maximize their potential.
Summing it up,
These small details make it clear that education and learning are significantly different in definition and purpose. Learning is a process that plays a crucial role in developing the personality and behavior of a person. Meanwhile, education is the systematic method of imparting knowledge to provide students with all-around development and critical thinking abilities to become productive members of society.