Difference Between Teaching and Learning

Main Difference – Teaching vs Learning

Teaching and learning are important processes that are linked to the acquisition of knowledge, values, traditions, skills, behaviors, etc. These two processes are at the two ends of the knowledge acquisition process. Teaching involves imparting knowledge whereas learning involves acquiring knowledge. This is the main difference between teaching and learning.

This article explains,

1. What is Teaching?
     – Definition, Process, Methods

2. What is Learning?
     – Definition, Process, Methods

3. What is the difference between Teaching and Learning? Difference Between Teaching and Learning - Comparison Summary

What is Teaching

Teaching is the process of imparting knowledge or instructing someone to do something. However, the process of teaching may not only involve knowledge, it may also include different forms such values, manners, skills, behaviors, traditions, and stories.

Although we often associate teaching with professions in the field of education, teaching is something that we all do. Parents teach their children how to eat properly; grandparents may teach their grandkids old stories – in short, we all teach others something or the other.

Teaching in an educational institute is undertaken by professionals such as instructors, teachers, tutors, professors, and lecturers. The teaching that takes place in educational institutes is structured. The educators have schedules, syllabus, and curriculums; the students are also categorized into different grades and classes according to their age or knowledge levels. Traditional teaching methods mainly include the educator lecturing the students and the students memorizing or writing down what is said by the educator. But contemporary teaching methods mostly involve the active participation of the learners – the students are made to learn through experimenting, self-study, and experience.

Difference Between Teaching and Learning

What is Learning

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. The process of learning continues throughout all our lives – from the moment we are born to the moment we die. As babies, we learn to eat, to crawl, to walk, to talk, etc. and as we grow up we learn a wide range of other skills. This type of learning happens through observing, experimenting and experiencing.

Learning can occur consciously and unconsciously. Consciously learning occur through education, personal development, schooling, and training. We also learn without conscious awareness through different experiences. For example, talking with a colleague can help us learn some new things as well as watching a TV program. It’s not only human beings who have the ability to learn; animals, plants and even some machines also have the ability to learn.

A person’s capacity to learn varies depending on different factors such as personality, intelligence level, motivation, and learning style. A person becomes more interested in learning when he is prompted by curiosity and intrinsic motivation.

Most people associate learning with education we receive at educational institutes such as schools and universities. Some others think that learning is listening and accepting what they are taught. But we learn something every day in our lives and real learning involves understanding and applying or using what you understood in real life situations.

Main Difference - Teaching vs Learning

Difference Between Teaching and Learning


Teaching: Teaching is the process of imparting knowledge and instruction. 

Learning: Learning is the acquisition of knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, etc.


Teaching: People can teach something to others even unconsciously.

Learning: People learn throughout their lives, either consciously or unconsciously.

Link between Teaching and Learning

Teaching: Teaching is always linked with learning and learners.

Learning: One does not need to be taught to learn something.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.

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