Training: A historical vision of the development of humanity.

Written by SeekLMS Correspondent on 07 October 2021

Training: To understand the present, and plan for the future; it is necessary to turn to the past, and know it. Learn from him.  

In this article, We will take a brief tour of the evolution of teaching and training during the history of humanity, its successes, and setbacks.

What will you find?

First, we will start with the Ancient Ages, then the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, Fordism, the “ Modern Times ” of Chaplin, until we reach our days.  But don't be scared. It is not a historical treatise, much less a “dizzy chorus”. It's just small talk; enough to give us a general idea and learn a little about our past.  

Obviously, there is much to talk about on the subject, and that I have left out, however, I hope you find it interesting, but, above all, useful.  I will also address the concept of Training, the benefits derived from it. Without further ado, let's get on and begin our journey through time (then we will return to the future).

The Ancient Age:

Broadly speaking, it was characterized by the Greco-Roman influence on art and culture; the flourishing of well-organized and functional large cities, as well as great inventions: the result of the most pressing needs and military issues.  

It is, in the golden stage of Greek philosophy, where the foundations of modern education were laid.  In it, figures such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle stood out.  But it was Plato the central figure, who would leave a written legacy to humanity with more than fifty years of reflection and debate.  

Where he reflected his philosophical and political ideas in his famous " Dialogues ".  He owes the precedent of the modern conception of the University, based on the school he founded in Athens, which he would name as: "Academy".  

Plato, as a philosopher, approached the study of the nature of knowledge and the conditions that allow it. The fundamental basis of the organization and implementation of teaching.

The Middle Ages:

The Middle Ages, for its part, has been branded, especially by some characters from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment (among which Voltaire stands out ), as a dark age, superstition, and barbarism.  A period of history in which there were great wars and pandemics (remember the "black plague"), stagnation, and even regression in many aspects.   

A space of time that lasted a thousand years, in which practically nothing changed.  On the other hand, some contemporary authors defend it from its detractors and praise some advances in the matter of inventions for subsistence, art, and education.  

Between the years 1200 and 1400 of the Christian era, the first Universities were founded in Europe, (although in a precarious way and only for a privileged few); where medicine, law, and theology were studied.  Thus, a time of chiaroscuro, (perhaps darker than light) where the bulk of the European population was illiterate and lived under a feudal and theocratic regime.

The Renaissance:  

Then came the Renaissance, which meant a new awakening in art, culture, and science. Turning back to the great Greek philosophers.  With the invention of the printing press, by Johannes Gutenberg, the encounter with information and knowledge became more accessible. But he still had a hangover from the Middle Ages.   

It was like a great monolithic slab that the society of that time carried on its back, like a brave and heroic Pípila.   To tell the truth, it was not easy to shake off all that, until the Industrial Revolution (or first revolution) arrived, around the second half of the 18th century.   

How were society and the economy organized before this transition to modernity?

It was scattered in rural communities, and the cities had few inhabitants. The vast majority lived off agriculture, commerce, and crafts. Hunger and death prevailed.  The knowledge of the trades was transmitted from generation to generation within families (and it was secret), or in guilds.  

The hierarchical scale of the workers was made up of the teacher, the officers, and, finally, the apprentices. The latter was taught everything on the fly, that is, by working and learning.   Furthermore, the training-learning logic was concentrated in small groups that were scattered everywhere; and, in the best of cases, in the military sphere.

The machines

And suddenly, the listed steam engine of James Watt would mean a turning point; the release of the slab; which would flip the economy, the common lifestyle of the moment, and social classes. 

Can you imagine people communicating with each other that in cities there was a lot of “work” in places called factories?   Can you imagine the migration of entire communities from the countryside to the cities?   

Can you imagine the new urban landscape, in which these production centers stood out with their huge chimneys exhaling smoke and steam?

Can you imagine the big jump?

With this, the artisans became part of the traditional and cultural folklore, because now there were machines.  Wow! What an impression those people must have been when they first witnessed (gaping) these noisy and monstrous artifacts; true giants of metal and lubricants. 

It is to be expected to think that their astonishment must have been great when what they were used to was seeing the land being worked by teams of oxen, and donkeys carrying loads.

Start the training, seriously and in series:

Now, the factories already existed, they already had workers, the only thing that was needed for everything to function as a single production unit was training. 

And this can be expressed by this simple equation: 

Factory + Workers + Training = Production 

The traditional way of transmitting knowledge, as I mentioned earlier, was now displaced by classrooms within factories where personnel (several at a time) were trained by a single instructor. 


The Fordism: 

Already in the twentieth century, Henry Ford would take these practices to the limit. He would revolutionize the chain production industry by introducing his car, Model "T", in 1908.  

With Fordismblue-collar training took a 180-degree turn.  

Through this new way of producing, workers were trained to carry out a single activity in a complex manufacturing process.  

The result:  

  • The factory had total control of the production times, and not the workers specialized incomplete processes. 
  • No skilled labor was required. 
  • Production increased. 
  • Costs were going down. 
  • Profits were up. 


However, although the pay was good (in the Ford automobile production factories), the phenomenon of stress and low self-esteem among the workers was also present.  This is because the working mechanism forced them to always do the same and not have the opportunity to grow personally.  Job desertion was also high. 

The Modern Times: 

An excellent film that I recommend, where this situation is parodied, is called: " Modern Times ", with the exceptional Charlie Chaplin, (I assure you that you are going to attack with laughter).  For Chaplin, the film is a severe criticism of the capitalist system and of mass production and inventory accumulation.  Just as it also exhibits the greed of the owners of the means of production. 

Because this system led to severe abuses and exploitation of the working class, much like a new kind of slavery. 

This, of course, today leads us to a reflection:

How to humanize organizations? How to make them productive and retain valuable skilled labor? How to avoid the brain drain?  

Perhaps the answer lies in the implementation of job training, professionally and continuously. 


The training: 

But… what is training ? 

It is a process or method in which new knowledge is taught or already acquired is updated, in order to train more productive personnel, both individually and as a team at the business level.  

It is a shorter, but more specialized form of teaching. 


Training benefits: 

  • It encourages the integral development of the worker, and, consequently: 
  • Raises your mood, feeling better prepared and useful. 
  • Supplement your formal education. 
  • Errors decrease. 
  • Increase inventiveness and initiative. 
  • Greater ability and strength to face and solve problems. 
  • Increases confidence and safety at work. 
  • It is being updated with new technologies, which results in better productivity. 
  • The staff creates an empathetic bond with the organization (puts on the shirt). 
  • Helps assertive decision-making. 
  • It is the compass that guides the course to follow. 
  • And it helps you, too, to get a promotion or a better job. 

The Plan

We have already seen, roughly, how the Industrial Revolution gave rise to the need to efficiently train workers who would work in factories.  Without a doubt, this revolution also changed society and people's standard of living. 

Already in the twentieth century, schools, where children and young people were taught, as well as universities, began to appear in many cities throughout the world, on a daily basis. 

It was already something achievable, then.  From them, more educated and prepared people came out; Just what the companies needed!  But a phenomenon emerged: many believed that with just this fact, people would already be ready to carry out the work entrusted. 

And then we relapsed into the Middle Ages (already in modernity).  

After the Second World War, with a great period of peace, humanity lay down in the hammock.  From the 1950s to the 1990s, technological and scientific advancements walked at a snail's pace.   The Baby Boomers and the "X" generations (the same ones to which I belong) will not let me lie about this. 

The most modern, what we had access to in those days, were the corded telephone, automobiles, television, airplanes, and electrical appliances, (this is what comes to mind). Which underwent little change for a long time. 

The training was spurned and tossed into a drawer to close it. What did they need it for? If they already left school knowing. 

And those who dared to venture into it did so in an ephemeral way and without any plan.  Only the big corporations and NASA took it seriously.  All that changed with the arrival of the internet, cell phones, and Globalization.  

The need to learn faster and faster, in a more competitive and competitive world, became a necessity and a priority. 

Thereafter, the training inhaled its second wind.   This began to be taken with greater reflection, as well as questioning how to carry it out.  The answer was very simple: detect what training needs were required in the work centers; implement a plan, and carry it out.

Employee Training is based on a diagnosis of the situation of the company and its collaborators. 

In other words, the functions performed in each job, the performance obtained, and the problems that all this encompasses. 

This implies a deep analysis, by areas and by work hierarchies; interviews with staff, review of processes and work environment, and even statistics.  

With this information, the appropriate training plan, its content, and the way to evaluate the knowledge acquired can be structured. 

Final comments: 

What we live today is the result of learning, through teaching and training. On the evolution and application of the acquired “knowledge”.  It all has to do with the way of teaching and learning. 

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