Train the what?

Image from FlickR Courtesy of sling@flickr

I was reading a discussion on a forum the other day about what content you’d include on a train the trainer face to face session.

It says much about how my thinking has changed about workplace learning that my immediate thought was to wonder what you’d include in a classroom setting that you couldn’t help the attendee learn  in other ways.  I googled train the trainer course content and found 2.4 million results; it seems that there’s still a market for this kind of course.

Apparently train the trainer courses are all about:

  • creating meaningful/SMART/any learning objectives
  • your learning style
  • your training style
  • developing classroom content
  • managing classrooms
  • dealing with difficult participants/questions/situations
  • evaluating your training

I was a little disappointed.  I had a look through my old books and found this was (in the most part), the structure of the sessions I undertook about 20 years ago.

How did this happen?  I believed that we’ve moved on from training to learning in the workplace; perhaps we haven’t?  I saw the #chat2lrn topic  last week was looking at new skills for changing times.  I couldn’t make the live chat but spent some time reading through the transcript – if you work in L&D please take the time to have a look as there are some excellent contributions.

There are a number of comments suggesting that organisations don’t want or expect change from their L&D teams.  My belief is that there are some L&D teams who are happy to stay the same, to remain as a training function, providing at the organisation’s request.

I think this has been reflected in the most recent offer from the CIPD.  In their latest support for L&D specialists you’re now able to download content that will:

 will provide practitioners with a cost-effective method of designing and rejuvenating training courses

Really?  Is that what L&D needs?  More content?  Our society is changing, our organisations are changing, our technology is changing and the ‘world’s largest chartered HR and development professional body’ is still stuck in content provision?  Learning and education professionals are talking about connectivism, personal knowledge management  and informal learning, and the CIPD is talking about how to make better stuff.  Not surprising when you realise we’re only 1/8th of their pie.

This is why I was so pleased to see the Learning and Performance institute Capability Map which was published a few weeks ago.  At last I think there’s finally a tool for L&D specialists that reflects the requirements of our profession.  We are, should you forget, a professional occupation.

What I like about the map is the breadth and depth to the tool.  It isn’t all about face to face training (although it could be if you wished), but considers the full range of competences from transactional and operational to strategic.  It is a great piece of work that they should be widely applauded for.

What are you doing to stop L&D from going back down the training route?  What are you doing to hand learning to your learners?  Are you REALLY learning professionals, or trainers in learner professional clothing?

Let me know via the comments box.

One response to “Train the what?

  1. Pingback: 5 most popular posts this year | Lost and Desperate·

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