As centuries passed, the kinds of work, the skills needed, and the tools used to do the new work had to change. In order to manage these changes in the complexity, volume, and content of work, job training evolved. “As man invented tools, weapons, clothing, shelter, and language, the need for training became an essential ingredient in the march of civilization” (Statement, 1976). As tools became more complex, different ways of training developed to be more effective and efficient. “Instructional practices were developed that served the needs of the times, evolving into accepted instructional paradigms” (Borrower & Smaller, 1992).
Training practices developed at different times, some have changed through the years, but it s claimed that all are still used today, depending on the training need and corporate situation (Sleight, 1993). “Training is different from education” (Sleight, 1993). Training teaches the learner to do a specific task, such as running a machine, or making a shirt while education is instruction in the more general knowledge of the society, such as the history of the society, or knowledge of mathematics (McGee & Thayer, 1961).
Nevertheless, (Harrison, 2005) argues that training and development is more than just teaching a task. Training and development (T&D) is an ‘organizational activity aimed at bettering the reference of individuals and groups in an organizational setting. Caravan, Costing, & Hearty (1995) conclude that T encompasses three main activities: training, education, and development. They go on to state that to Human Resource practitioners, these are three separate, although interrelated activities.
However, are they really? We know that research on learners has show that adults learn differently from younger students. “Adults have special needs as learners and these needs should be taken into consideration when planning training for adults” (Tot, Discard, Burst, Laird, & Siege, 2006). “By using ambitions of adult learner techniques and strategies” (in their training), facilitators “can create training experiences that will enhance the learning of participants”.
However, is this the case in today’s corporate environment? Are corporate training departments taking any adult educational approaches into the training classroom? Could the training experience in a company environment be more productive, enhanced, and rewarded by implementing key adult education approaches? Are the core principles of adult education lost to corporate trainers and management because their focus is strictly on productivity and not actual earning?
This literature review examine works from the perspective of trainers, human resource departments, and educators who have written about current training trends and approaches and explores the lack of significant, successful workplace application of adult education framework and androgyny theories. Keywords: training, education, adult learners, corporate, adult education framework, androgyny Can Corporate Training benefit from the application of Adult Education Frameworks? Rationale Adult education theory is gaining momentum as increased numbers of adults are going back to school.
I include yeses in this group demographic. Adult are raising families, focused on jobs and if there is any time left for leisure and self-improvement, the ability to direct learning directly to their jobs is paramount (Lambert, 2011). Goal oriented adults see continued formal education as a means to an end. This trend cannot be dismissed by the corporate world, and it is vital to their success they acknowledge the benefits of understanding and applying the principles of adult learning in their corporate learning culture and particularly into the corporate training environment.
There is no doubt that the application in corporate raining environments of Knowles principles of androgyny: Self-directed learning Using own experiences as a basis for learning analysis Problem solving approach to learning Motivated and personal need to know Connect learning with practice of new skills Actively involved in their learning and Seeking immediate application for their learning (Racial, 2002), would lead companies to greater success.
Personal interest in this topic is driven by all the principles outlined in adult education and the personal motivation theories explored to date in the Bachelors of Adult Education degree courses taken. The goal is to work in a college or university environment or to enter the world of corporate training within the hospitality industry upon graduation. Understanding the weakness of the current workplace-training environment will give an advantage as a problem solver for those puzzled by ineffective training conducted within their own companies.
The methodology used for the paper will include literature review of peer-reviewed journal articles, scholarly reports and books, and electronic databases on the topic. Sources cited will include empirical studies, literature reviews, thesis, and conceptual papers that were located using James A. Gibson Online Library at Brock. Electronic databases and other online resources used include Wiley Online Library, Obscenest, RACER, Poppa, Sage Journals, Google Scholar and Protest Dissertation and Thesis.
Date limits on publishing periods were initially nonexistent, but were later defined using 2000 as the minimum publication year. Key words used in online searches included training, development, workplace learning, human resource development, adult education theories, training principles and facilitation. Background We see the traditional workplace-training environment continue to ignore the opportunity to do use Adult Education Frameworks. Companies spend billions of dollars on management training throughout the world yet there is a growing concern that they are not netting sufficient return for this investment.
They are puzzled by the fact that trainees seem to enjoy sitting in their training classes but performance effects tend to be short-lived (Attainable & Yuk, 1992). Attainable and Yuk (1992) go on to say that ‘the problem with classroom training is that it tries to make neat an activity that is normally messy – be it technical work or the practice of managing others. Most training activities are ender fairly precise control and pacing of the trainer not the trainee’. Workplace learning is evolving though. Organizations have recognized that problems exist and must be addressed to ensure their training ROI is achieved.
The question remains though if workplace training is a function of human resources management or education. Self-directed learning as a training alternative (OSDL) has become an important and much studied component of adult education (Merriam, Sufferable, & Banterer, 2007), as an alternative to the traditional corporate training classroom, that embodies the principles of androgyny. There is a general agreement that OSDL is a form of self-learning in which learners themselves take on the primary responsibility for planning, selecting, carrying out, and evaluating their learning experiences (Merriam, Sufferable, & Banterer, 2007).
OSDL can be applied both in formal and informal in the context of workplace learning. Informal learning, is “usually intentional, but not highly structured,” and “control rests primarily in the hands of the learners (Marries & Watkins, 1997). Formal learning, on the other hand is structured where the content or curriculum is chosen and learning is assessed, evaluated, validated by the company or an institution as opposed to by the learner.
Can OSDL be applied to formal learning and still comport well with Knowles’ own general conception of OSDL in the workplace (Bellman, Hall, & Mooted, 2012): It is a learning situation in which learners take the initiative in diagnosing their own learning needs, in formulating learning objectives, in locating resources to fulfill objective, in carrying out a learning plan, and in evaluating the extent to which they met objectives (Hatchet, 1997) The number of articles describing actual formal workplace OSDL is limited, “particularly studies that examine whether or to what degree workplace OSDL orgasm result in benefits to employees and or their organizations” (Bellman, Hall, & Mooted, 2012). Sutton & Stephenson (2005) discuss training ROI (Return On Investment) while referencing the Kirkpatrick model of training evaluation and Robert Gene’s instructional theories.
Can these model’s and theories reflect adult education frameworks? The models for each are rather simple and evidently widely used in corporate training, but are they addressing the needs of adult learners and encouraging learning as needed by the adult student? With the various writings on corporate training and development explored, it is Lear what the research question is: Frameworks? The purpose of this research would be to identify which theories are currently applied in the corporate training environment and why, and what benefits could ensue if workplace management adopted more of an adult education framework into their staff development focus.