The Difference Between Education and Learning

WARNING:  This post NOT based on any well-crafted academic studies or even a book by some popular author/celebrity/rock star/professional motivator.

Recent posts and comments have focused on aspects of learning and education.  Maybe it’s time I talked about my perception of these two terms.

I am well aware that other fine definitions for both terms exist. I’m just thinking out loud here.


Education to me means receiving knowledge in the form of facts, experiences, and reflection.

You can do this individually.  I can read a book and remember what I read.  I can do something and experience emotions about what I am doing.  I can reflect in solitude upon the meaning of those facts and emotions for me as a person.


“We teach best what we most need to learn.”  Richard Bach

Taking those facts, experiences, and reflections to a state of synergy, where they form a new understanding.   While this can happen individually, I see it at its most powerful when sharing knowledge.

If I only learn and do not share what I learn, that knowledge benefits only me and only in a very internal way.  I enjoy knowing things for the sake of knowing them and frankly, sometimes I am the only one who cares that I know something.

If I learn something and then share that knowledge, I have created new learning, both for myself and for the other person.

My greatest joy is sharing knowledge with someone who benefits from that sharing.

Considering how to spread the joy in the Heartland ….