Difference Between Teaching and Learning

We have been taught all kinds of things throughout our life starting from our family. They say that your parent is your first teachers and then comes the teachers of our schools.

Teaching means helping a person or a student acquire knowledge, or competence, or virtue. A teacher does not have to be in a school to teach someone because teachers are found everywhere.

Similarly, Learning is another thing which is attached to teaching in our life. If someone is teaching then it is the learners who are learning something from that teacher.

In other words, learning is a process that includes acquiring knowledge and understanding. Learning involves acquiring values, skills, preferences, and many more.

Teaching vs Learning

The difference between teaching and learning is that teaching means imparting knowledge whereas learning, on the other hand, means acquiring that knowledge. This is the difference that makes the two words have a different meaning.

Teaching vs Learning

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTeachingLearning
DefinitionTeaching is the process that involves sharing knowledge with the other person.Learning means acquiring knowledge from your teacher like values, skills, behaviour, etc.
FormsTeaching comes in two forms: formal and informalWhereas learning does not have any form. One can learn a lesson from everything.
Continuous ProcessTeaching is a continuous process as it requires a lot of time to teach a new thing to someone who does not have any idea regarding that particular thing.Learning too is a continuous process. Not everybody is smart or robots that can learn everything in one day.
ConsciousnessPeople can teach one another consciously or even unconsciouslyLearning also happens sometimes consciously and unconsciously.
Linked WithIt is linked with learning and learners.Sometimes learning does not need to be taught.
AuthorityTeaching mostly happens with higher authority.Whereas learning happens with the lower authority only.
AutonomousTeaching is more autonomousLearning is less autonomous.

What is Teaching?

Teaching means spreading knowledge to others. Teaching can happen both officially and as well as unofficially.

A teacher comes into our mind when we hear the word ‘teach’ and it is true that a teacher is the one who teaches us most of our life.

For most people teaching happened since school and your teachers were the only source, you learned something today.

Teaching may not include knowledge because there are values and morals, behaviour, discipline, skills, manners, traditions that can be taught to one another.

When we talk about unofficial teaching then all of these comes and when we talk about official teaching then that means mostly bookish knowledge is taught.

As I have said that teaching does not mean that a teacher teaching in a school or a university. Teaching begins as soon as you are born and your parents are your teachers.

Your parents are the ones who teach you the values of life, behaviour, and such things. This is where your behaviour is reflected and it shows your family background.

Teaching in a professionally at a school is undertaken by professionals in the field of education. In schools and colleges, the teaching done is structured and the educators have got their schedules, routines, timetables.

The traditional method is teaching involves a teacher lecturing to his/her students and the students make a note on what the teacher has said them.


What is Learning?

In simple words learning means acquiring knowledge. Knowledge does not always mean education because several other things can be learned in life.

We continue to learn throughout our lives because learning is a continuous process. Where knowledge is vast one needs to keep learning throughout their life.

Learning starts as soon as we are born. As we grow from infant to child we learn to do several activities like eating, walking, talking, and many such things. We learn different kinds of skills as we grow gradually.

Learning can be done in various ways and styles. Some of them include visual learning, listen and learn, and kinaesthetic learning.

Visual learning means learning something by looking and seeing things. Suppose there is a diagram of a pie chart in front of you showing the latest data on the crime rate of your country.

Then you look at the diagram and learn that some states have got a higher crime rate and some have a lower.

However, learning stops after death whereas teaching continues even after death.


Main Differences Between Teaching and Learning

  1. The difference between teaching and learning is that teaching is done to give or spread knowledge or skills to a group of learners whereas learning involves gaining knowledge and skills from a teacher or a professional.
  2. Teaching requires high-level authority whereas learners possess low-level authority.
  3. Teachers or people who are teaching something to a group of learners require expert knowledge in that particular field.
  4. Teaching is always linked with a group of learners whereas learning does not require teaching to learn something.
  5. Both teaching and learning can be done either consciously or unconsciously.
  6. Teaching continues even after death where the legacy of someone lives whereas learning stops after death.
Difference Between Teaching and Learning


  1. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED283446
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00029890.1963.11992076
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