Kathy D. Hall

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeris, Laurel

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Physical therapists--Education (Continuing education)


Understanding commonalities and differences in views about lifelong learning (LLL) among clinicians and educators in initial professional education (IPE) could help educators prepare graduates as lifelong learners. Using the Characteristics of Lifelong Learners in the Professions survey and the Professional Learning Inventory, this study identifies characteristics that a national sample of 229 clinicians and 86 educators associated with lifelong learners and LLL strategies used by clinicians and valued by clinicians and educators for inclusion in IPE. According to both groups, lifelong learners view themselves as learners who believe that learning is relevant to professional growth, are committed to growing as professionals and keeping updated, are self-motivated and open to new experiences/ideas, and have developed critical thinking skills. Clinicians were most likely to pursue formal continuing education courses but were also likely to communicate with peers, attend seminars, consult with colleagues, and use the Internet. They were least likely to attend professional meetings or pursue scholarly activities. Both groups valued curricular opportunities to communicate with peers and use the Internet. Clinicians also valued opportunities to consult with colleagues, participate in mentoring programs, and attend seminars. Educators valued, and included in their curricula, opportunities to use professional journals, libraries, and electronic information systems. Clinicians appeared to consider LLL within the context of daily practice, while educators seemed to see LLL as ways to seek evidence to enhance practice. Both groups shared a common understanding of the concept of LLL but did not share the same ideas about fostering these characteristics in students. Both groups identified non-formal strategies as valuable for development, but the specific activities differed between groups. The impact of the workplace learning environment may be underestimated by educators. This study suggests the link between IPE and continuing professional development (CPD) is not mutually informing; initial professional education providers expose graduates to types of CPD that do not reflect the preferences of the practice community. More collaboration between IPE providers and clinicians could improve the likelihood that graduates would begin and improve practice with evidence-seeking skills that they could integrate with the CPD activities used by their new colleagues.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [201]-212).


x, 235 pages




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