Professionals must be lifelong learners. There is no other way to practice any profession effectively but to develop a habit of continuously building knowledge and reflecting on and improving practice. While professionals in every field (engineering, medicine, nursing, law, etc.) might feel as though they have spent a lifetime participating in formal education, much of their learning has occurred and will continue to occur informally, through apprenticeship, practice, collaboration and particpation in communities of practice.
The goal of professional learning, then, is to cultivate mindful learning as a routine practice across settings and situations. In medical education, this is referred to as reflective practice (Mamede, Schmidt & Rikers, 2007 Mamede & Schmidt, 2004). Effective teachers are effective learners and reflective educators.