Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lifelong Learning: An Ethical Responsibility

by Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD

How long does it take before half the psychological knowledge you hold in your area of specialization becomes obsolete? Estimates range from five to six years, according to participants at APA’s 2010 Education Leadership Conference. What’s more, scientific knowledge about best care takes an average of 17 years to be applied broadly and systematically in actual clinical practice, according to the Institute of Medicine. I wish all of you could have been at the conference to be infused with motivation and insight about the importance of lifelong learning, but for those of you who couldn’t, here are some highlights.

Presenters emphasized that it is our ethical responsibility to maintain competence in all our work as researchers, educators and/or practitioners through lifelong learning. To that end, the conference featured science that showcased the best ways to learn, detailed better continuing-education (CE) options and underscored the reality that we spend more time in lifelong learning than in preparation for our careers.

The particular activities that comprise lifelong learning range widely, partly based on specialization. Researchers who need to stay abreast of new methodologies as well as findings may do so by reviewing journal manuscripts, attending APA’s Advanced Training Institutes and going to various conferences. Educators may benefit from those activities and also from tapping centers for teaching and learning available on campuses. Practitioners can also review the literature, as well as attend CE programs and workshops.

Read the rest of Dr. Vasquez's article here.