ERIC Number: ED356422
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
The Question of Mandatory Continuing Education for Professionals.
Garganta, Kevin J.
Once the need for continuing learning in professional fields was acknowledged, the idea of voluntary learning evolved into a requirement for mandatory continuing education (MCE) in many professions. Despite the variation among professions and individual states' policies, MCE for professionals is a well-entrenched fact of life for many practitioners in a variety of fields. Major factors in the growth of MCE have been protecting the public welfare and public accountability. The concept of MCE is at direct odds with two primary assumptions of adult learning theory: participants want to be there and program quality is ensured by participants'"votes." Although these objections might be characterized as "philosophical," questioning the foundations upon which a mandatory system rests, more practical limitations have been pointed out. Major arguments against the mandatory nature of continuing professional education involve its effectiveness and the ability to document that students learn by participating. Significant, measurable changes in professionals' methods of practice and/or clients' status have not been documented. Alternatives have been proposed, each with advantages and disadvantages--periodic testing, peer review process, certification programs, education of consumers, modeling by top pros, associations' requirements, self assessment, and reeducation. The specific case of MCE for licensed social workers in Massachusetts points to a crucial need for an evaluation of the effectiveness of mandatory MCE. (Contains 95 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Qualifying paper for Ed.D., Harvard University.