Telling Ain’t Training | Harold D. Stolovitch

Summary of: Telling Ain’t Training
By: Harold D. Stolovitch


Dive into the fascinating world of effective training techniques with the book summary of ‘Telling Ain’t Training’ by Harold D. Stolovitch. Discover how people learn best when they are actively engaged, participating and able to apply new knowledge to their everyday activities. In this summary, you’ll explore the differences between training, instruction, and education, as well as the importance of prioritizing the learner’s needs over content. Learn about human learning traits, such as how we process information through our five senses and filter out irrelevant information. Grasp the significance of understanding the differences between expert and novice learners and recognizing adult learners’ specific needs as you embark on this instructive journey.

Effective Training Techniques

Training people involves more than presenting information. People learn best when actively engaged in a hands-on approach that they trust can be applied to their everyday lives. Unfortunately, most trainers rely on verbal instructions and formal settings, ignoring the fundamental principles of learning. To truly engage learners and improve their retention, trainers should allow opportunities for practice, demonstration, and informal learning environments. People absorb information presented in organized categories and visual images. By adopting these principles, trainers can provide effective training techniques that ensure learners acquire and retain new knowledge.

Three Paths of Learning

Learning can take three forms – training, instruction, and education. Training produces automatic responses, instruction broadens understanding to adapt to new situations, while education creates broad mental models and value systems. A mix of these approaches can be used for effective teaching. Focusing on learners’ needs and concerns makes teaching more effective than simply transmitting information.

Facilitating Learning Transformation

Humans acquire information through their senses and filter out irrelevant data. The short-term memory can hold only a limited number of items before it disappears. To facilitate learning transformation, incorporate multiple senses into the learning experience and avoid overwhelming learners with irrelevant pieces of information.

Learning is not just about conveying information but facilitating transformation. To help learners change, it is crucial to understand how humans acquire information. According to the book, people acquire information through their senses, including sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Sight contributes to about 80% of the information people take in, followed by hearing at 10%. However, incorporating multiple senses into the learning experience can aid in the retention of information. People also filter out irrelevant information to avoid information overload, making it essential to present relevant information consciously and unconsciously.

The book also highlights that the short-term memory can only hold new information for 10 to 15 seconds before it disappears unless further processed. The capacity of the short-term memory is limited to no more than five to nine items of information. People can remember more when several pieces of information are combined. For instance, acronyms are easier to remember than separate pieces of information. Learning facilitators must treat all learners with respect by avoiding insulting learners with irrelevant information and incorporating multiple senses into the learning process to facilitate learning transformation.

Differences in Learning Types

Experts process information differently than novices, and knowledge is either declarative or procedural. Adult learners learn best when they take charge of their learning. To train novices more effectively, use transformative procedural knowledge. Learning ability, prior knowledge, motivation, mood, and confidence level also affect the learning process.

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