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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2003 Summer;23(3):141-5.

Building on abilities.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rm 1282H Educational Sciences, 1025 W. Johnson St, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


This article reviews generalizations about effective continuing education that pertain to cognitive aging and memory and to a broader range of influences related to adult learning and development and to the context of professional practice. Features of excellent continuing education include attention to diversity, objectives, motivation, active learning, feedback, and application. The learning abilities and capacities of most professionals are sufficient for them to continue to enhance their proficiencies throughout their careers. Cognitive aging is one influence among various psychological characteristics. Effective continuing professional education should address career span learning and performance, including emphasis on abilities and not just disabilities.

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