Sustainable Engaged Accountable Learners

Michael A. Gisondi, Jeremy Branzetti, Laura R. Hopson, Linda Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The development of lifelong learners is among the most challenging goals for medical educators. The authors identify two important scholarly works that profoundly altered their understanding and approach to lifelong learning and curriculum design: L. Dee Fink's Taxonomy of Significant Learning and Cutrer et al.'s Master Adaptive Learner model. By applying these guides to their teaching and related research, three important characteristics of lifelong learning became evident: sustainability, engagement, and accountability. These are abbreviated “SEALs,” for sustainable engaged accountable learners. This paper defines these qualities as they relate to emergency medicine training, significant learning, and the development of adaptive expertise. Connections to Fink's and Cutrer's works are offered for each learner characteristic. Educational and psychological theories that support the SEALs model are paired with practical suggestions for educators to promote these desired qualities in their trainees. Relevant features of adult learning are highlighted, including self-regulation, motivation, agency, and autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAEM Education and Training
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Education
  • Emergency

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