Friday, February 17, 2012

Learn Something, Stupid! - Why Continuing Ed is Important

Recently I was confronted by a bizarre idea - that learning has an end. Knowledge in a subject is finite, or so this mode of thinking goes.

This is not just shocking, but frankly, laughable. I cannot imagine what my employer would say if I told them I already knew everything I needed to know about teaching. Probably I would get fired, or at least have regular meetings with a supervisor.

Of course, in my day job, continuing education is required by regulating institutions. If professors did not continue to push themselves, we would find it difficult to be taken seriously. But just because every field does not have required continuing education, does not mean individuals should be intellectually lazy. The best of any field continue to push themselves by learning the newest theories, participating in discussions of rising trends and the like. Whenever new technology is developed for accessories or factory built motorcycles for example, my husband is reading about these things before training is even offered. It is a good idea, because then customers feel confident when he works on their vehicles.

After all, wouldn't we all want a mechanic who is knowledgable on all the most recent advances? Surely we would want the same commitment from our doctors, counselors, dentists, etc, etc.

In a world where information is more abundant and accessible than ever, it is even more important for us to take time to learn regularly. Besides this, information shifts faster and faster all the time. As professionals, we cannot afford to ignore rising trends and popular conversations in our respective fields.

So, if we are in positions that do not emphasize the importance of regular training, we must not let things end there. We must take responsibility for our own growth and engagement. Hopefully, someone will notice our expertise and give us the credit we deserve.

For what it's worth, I'm crossing my fingers for everybody.

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