The traditional meaning of training has been the transfer of expertise from the trainer to the learner, where the trainer defines what a particular set of learners needs to learn. This approach to training believes that trainers know everything, and the learner is looked upon as an empty container to be filled up by the trainer. Learners play a passive role and are bound to learn what the trainer teaches. This training approach does not allow learners to participate actively and gives total control over the process to the trainer.
However, an alternative view of training has evolved over the second half of the 20th century where training is seen as a process of growth and discovery aimed not just at 'knowing more' but at 'behaving differently. It is a non-formal, ongoing process, in which both trainers and trainees learn from each other. This approach to training is intended to build the learner's confidence in their capacity to observe, criticize, analyze, and figure things out for themselves. They learn to cooperate, rather than compete, for the trainer's approval. Their learning revolves around their own needs and progresses through opportunities for reflection and analysis. We can call this training for change. Emphasis is more on learning than on training. Learners are encouraged to voice their ideas and explore ways to solve their problems, and investigate their reality based on their own experience. This approach to training aims at freeing people from patterns of thinking imposed upon them by dominant forces.