What can research on expertise tell us about continuing competence?

  • 06 Apr 2100
  • Virtual - view recording at your desktop


Excellence in the education and training of future experts is crucial to the success of all professions. Extensive efforts have therefore been made to explore expertise, with the aim of translating understanding of expert performance into more effective expert development. In the expertise literature, over the last half-century, the accrual and organization of an extensive knowledge base has become widely recognized by educators and researchers as the foundation for expertise and expert performance. As our understanding of expertise has expanded to include previously unexplored facets of expert performance, the particular role of knowledge in expert development and practice is being increasingly revisited. In particular, the ability of practitioners to not only apply their repertoire of knowledge to problems they face, but to also deal with novel, emergent or unexpected problems of practice effectively and use these experiences as the basis for a process of continual learning, is not adequately accounted for by models of expertise that conceptualize problem solving as the application of an acquired database of knowledge. This presentation will explore the different ways knowledge is conceptualized in models of expert development and practice and discuss implications for continuing competence.


Dr. Maria Mylopoulos' research program explores the development and maintenance of adaptive expertise, with a particular focus on how health professionals deal with uncertainty and novelty in their daily problem solving. The aim of her research is to evolve understanding of processes that underpin adaptive expertise as it occurs in real-world contexts using theoretical frameworks of clinical reasoning, knowledge building and distributed cognition. The ultimate goal of her research is to translate this understanding to educational design that promotes the development of adaptive expertise.
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