ERIC Number: ED376275
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Mandatory Continuing Education. ERIC Digest No. 151.
The chief arguments against mandatory continuing education for professionals (MCE) are as follows: it violates adult learning principles, MCE is punitive to those who participate voluntarily; evidence that it results in improved practice is lacking; programs are not consistently and uniformly available; and professionals should be accountable for effective performance, not participation. Proponents support MCE for a number of reasons: expecting voluntary participation is unrealistic, evidence suggests well-designed programs can influence effective practice, MCE provides equal access to a range of opportunities, and mandates are necessary to protect the public. Some feel the focus should be on improving content and delivery and consider competency-based standards the solution. Such standards are controversial because a mechanical approach that breaks down professional performance into discrete tasks or skills ignores higher-level aspects. Another flaw is the assumption that performance is individual, disregarding its context. An alternative to debating the mandatory issue or appropriateness of competency standards is to improve continuing professional education. It should be accessible, affordable, and of high standards; relevant to individual learning needs, applicable to practice, and designed for different learning styles; viewed as part of the lifelong learning continuum; link practitioner competence to the ideals of public service and accountability; and consider the professional as an adult learner. Contains 9 references. (YLB)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.