Learning and Development: What's the Difference?

By Patrick Bradbery.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper makes some important distinctions between learning and cognitive development. These distinctions are based on the findings of a transcendental phenomenological research investigation of learning, development and the learning organisation. Ever since Piaget confused the two, the concepts of learning and development have been confused. In some respects, it can be argued that cognitive development is a form of meta-learning, but in other respects it is clearly quite different from 'normal' learning. The ability to properly distinguish learning from cognitive development allows learning interventions to be more accurately focused to the needs of the individual learner. It also allows the design of developmental interventions that improves the learner's ability to learn, as well as their ability to more wholistically deal with other aspects of their environment. These findings provide a better understanding of the changes that need to be embraced by those organisations that aspire to be learning organisations.

Keywords: Learning, Cognitive Development, Learning Organisation, Transcendental Phenomenology

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp.161-170. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 562.635KB).

Dr. Patrick Bradbery

Manager, Professional Development Unit, Faculty of Commerce, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

I am currently manager of the Pofessional Development Unit in the Faculty of Business of Charles Sturt University. The PDU develops and administers specialist industry based courses, both accredited and non-accredited. I have had an extensive career in business management, as well as management education. I have had a long term interest in education and learning, particularly in the context of work organisations, and their leadership and management. My doctoral thesis is on learning, development and the learning organisation.

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