There are no ‘categories’ for learning.  Learning takes place during scheduled and designated hours in professional organizations, and some go so far as to record learning or training time in their time tracking system.  This is helpful, but learning goes on all throughout the workday and it’s especially helpful to further define those goals and timeframes because this all contributes to a category called employee development.  When a company hires a new employee, that employee must learn the company processes, procedures, tasks, as well as its co-workers or colleagues.  It must learn systems, unless it’s already familiar and experienced, and it must learn special ways of the new company.  In organizations that use timekeeping software, thinking they are managing professional learning time, where they schedule classes or meetings set aside for learning, they are simply tracking the time devoted to that specific class or subject area.  It does not include all the other learning that takes place with each individual employee.  Employees vary in their learning and interest in material, where one or more employees might simply attend the class, while others spend their off time or other class time in formal education institutions, expanding their knowledge in subject areas, or check out books or buy books at stores to gain even more knowledge. 

Knowledge can be managed, only by tracking formal class training hours devoted to the specific subject that the company authorized time for and enabled, thus tracking of the class time, is only for comparison to active work time, which varies depending upon position and assignments.  The data is never really an accurate number that can explain one’s knowledge level of a subject.  The only time ‘knowledge management’ makes sense is limiting knowledge or tracking specific knowledge to certain read material, but it does not mean the reader or receiver of information has learned anything, unless tested, of which tests can come in many forms; verbal questioning, demonstration, proof of work application, or put to work in some other area, such as off-time, where learning is minimally tracked.  A better ‘knowledge management system’ provides employees an area to add supplemental learning and a way to show proof that they applied the learning in the workplace; otherwise, there is no value or proof that anything was useful that was taught.

In cooking, or preparing meals, learning is simply demonstrated by the ability to complete the task by doing it.  Reading a recipe teaches people the ingredients and they may know what goes into it and how it is made, but many cooks and chefs or meal preparers have different styles and outcomes, as well as opinions on how well the cook did.  The process of learning doesn’t have to start by reading a recipe, because some learn by watching videos, watching others, or just putting their existing knowledge to work.  Simply eating and visiting a grocery store, as well as having the right tools and abilities to prepare the meal is all that is needed.  Some require specific directions and measurements, following it step by step to the specific recipe, until they become skilled and confident in their abilities to estimate and use their own ideas on what they think might be more pleasing.  These are often experiments, but for those without scientific understanding of how an experiment is conducted, lack the scientific application and understanding, potentially removing, or eliminating the hypothesis, or guess on how they think it will turn out, and the repeatability and tracking of variation in their second test run.  Some document their work to officially track variation in comparison, to truly evaluate the differences in specific areas, being flavor, consumer enjoyment, cost, change management, and time.  Learning in this area is done by reading, experimenting, and doing. 

Evidence of something learned is not measured by only the results, because one learner might’ve learned everything within five minutes of presentation, while it takes others one hour to understand it, mainly because of experience or exposure and their ability to grasp a concept and apply it without lengthy demonstration or discussion.  The expectation or assumption that everyone who enters the class has the same level of understanding and can learn and complete the task with the same output is false because exposure, prior learning, or the ability to apply the concepts are varied; leading to what some doctors call learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders in a learning environment.  They do not want to pay attention and feel they don’t have to because they already know what is being taught or because they are uninterested and don’t place the learning high on their priority list and view the learning as not a good investment of their time and attention.  Some view material as unnecessary or non-applicable to them, finding no need because they have other circumstance or made other plans to have the need met; the need being food or cooking. 

An good example are young men learning how to cook; they may not feel they have a need to learn it because it is done for them at home and believe they will have wife or girlfriend perform those tasks when needed.  These students end up relying on restaurants and packaged meals, unless they decide to experiment with the abilities to show they can perform tasks by watching others, or simply by using a set of tools and ingredients to create something with very little specific instruction.  For example:  They see a pumpkin pie and know they can buy a pumpkin pie at the grocery store but haven’t a clue what goes into making it.  They want to try, so they shop for what they think might taste good or what they remember from their taste buds when they ate it, depending upon what they decide their pumpkin pie will taste like.  When asking others to taste their pumpkin pie made of carrots, the experienced taster will correct them; this is not a pumpkin pie because pumpkin pie is made of pureed pumpkin, either hand mixed directly from a pumpkin or 100% pumpkin sauce from a can.  Just by looking at it, leads one to believe it’s only pumpkin from a can, but there are sweeteners added and the pie crust might be homemade or store-bought and prepared.  Learning or experimenting in the kitchen requires more time than an experienced pie maker, only because they already know exactly what to do and exactly or close to how they think it will turn out and they understand that not every pie will come out the same and with each variation, they learn preference, cook times, ingredients, mistakes, and how to prevent the mistakes from happening again.  They also learn to add new ingredients and apply the concept of baking a pie to other areas, like chicken, other fruits, and soups.  Application of learned processes is an important concept, not only for one’s ability to apply the knowledge to other things that might work with the same process, but also to use the same ingredients with variations; from pie to soup, or casserole, with the same things, but in different shapes, sizes, and presentation.

The only ‘categories’ of learning would be 1) New Material or Information, no exposure to subject area; 2) Some exposure with new material; 3) Refresher or retraining; 4) Change to an area already learned or new information related to a known area of knowledge; 5) Unnecessary.  These categories do not work when asking about learning experiences because each area of information would have to be dissected to separate new information from old; changes from what stays the same; and evaluation of learning or acknowledgement of learning to specify what areas changed and that they understand the change or the new information.  Information varies from processes, or ways things are done.  This is often why course evaluations are rarely taken seriously; yes, I learned something, and can apply it.  No, I didn’t learn anything, because I already knew it, or yes, I learned something, but it wasn’t from the textbook, it was through my own ability and commitment to learn something new with old information.  Who knew pineapple and pumpkin, or pear and pumpkin would make a better pie than the standard cherry, apple, or pumpkin selections at the grocery store, dinner table, and restaurants.

Learning that pumpkin pie is often a selection readily available in stores as a traditional holiday item linked to the previous month’s growth and sales of Halloween pumpkins, put to great use, which is a major concept of learning.  Areas and things are linked, sometimes sequential, and necessary to make use of something that is left over and necessary to be use to avoid waste, money loss for another area, the environment, or other reason.

We must be careful not to remain restricted and limited to routines.  New ventures, such as pumpkin and pear baby food with lower sugars for children, blended at home, saves new mothers tons of money and might be more enjoyable.  It’s unknown unless tested and some are stuck in routine buying and cooking because they think it’s the only option because it’s ‘designated’ for a specific purpose or marked on containers and bottles for a specific purpose or age group.  Learning is simply the means of acquiring knowledge, and that distinction is key (Leaman, C., 2016). 


Learning Solutions:  The Difference Between Learning and Knowledge, and Why You Should
    Care, Leaman, C., October 5, 2016 accessed via the Internet at
    knowledge-and-why-you-should-care on November 25, 2022