Education versus training, academic knowledge versus craft skills: Some useful concepts

By Gordon Rugg

At the heart of education theory is a widely used distinction between education and training. This overlaps with a closely related distinction between academic knowledge and craft skills.

Although these concepts are extremely important, there is widespread debate about just what they mean, and what they imply for education theory and practice.

In knowledge modelling terms, these two distinctions can be neatly represented using the concepts of closed sets versus open sets, and of connected graphs versus unconnected graph fragments.

The illustrations below show how this works, and what some of the implications are for education theory and practice.

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