Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 101--102

Teaching does not equal learning: The need for more effective education

Karl C Golnik 
 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati and The Cincinnati Eye Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242, USA

Correspondence Address:
Karl C Golnik
University of Cincinnati and The Cincinnati Eye Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242

How to cite this article:
Golnik KC. Teaching does not equal learning: The need for more effective education.Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2014;21:101-102

How to cite this URL:
Golnik KC. Teaching does not equal learning: The need for more effective education. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Nov 28 ];21:101-102
Available from: http://www.meajo.org/text.asp?2014/21/2/101/129743

Full Text

Ophthalmic educators are rarely taught how to teach. Yet we are responsible for future ophthalmic professionals and indeed improvement in eye care. The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) is emphasizing this educational disconnect through a variety of initiatives aimed at improving ophthalmic education and thus patient care. The ICO Teaching the Teachers program includes Regional Courses for Residency Program Directors, World Ophthalmology Educational Colloquium (WOEC), Conferences for Ophthalmic Educators, and Ophthalmic Surgical Competency Assessment Rubrics (OSCARs). The ICO Curricula committee has developed curricula for Education of the Ophthalmic Specialist, Education of Medical Students, Continuing Medical Education in Ophthalmology, and Paraophthalmic Vision Specialist (Allied Health Personnel) Education. [1] The allied health personnel curriculum was developed in collaboration with the Joint Commission on Allied Health Care in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO), as was the International Core Curriculum for Ophthalmic Assistants introduced in 2009 [2] and the International Core Curriculum for Refractive Error added in 2011. [3] ICO Subspecialty curricula are being developed currently.

Recently an ICO survey showed that although there are over 200,000 ophthalmologists worldwide, there is a serious shortfall of ophthalmologists, as the aging population is growing faster than the number of ophthalmologists. [4] Thus, the ICO believes that an ophthalmologist-led team approach must be developed to meet the global burden of eye-care. The ICO has begun work on defining models of team training and compiling best practices from around the world. Additionally, significant inequities exist in training of ophthalmologists from program to program and country to country. The ICO believes that a global program accreditation would result in overall improvement in the education of ophthalmologists and has formed a committee to determine accreditation guidelines. Of course, education must not end with graduation from a training program. Opportunities for high quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) must be available. The ICO is working with ophthalmologic societies to provide continuing education that is relevant to their members and to societal needs. The ICO will be evaluating the educational materials available from ophthalmologic societies and providing a platform for teachers, individual ophthalmologists, and allied health personnel to find and access materials most relevant to them. Finally, the explosive growth of information and communication technologies has greatly benefited teaching and learning by helping to reduce educational issues related to time, cost, physical space, and geographic location. The ICO has developed the Center for Ophthalmic Educators (educators.icoph.org) that offers a broad array of educational tools for educators of residents, medical students, subspecialty fellows, practicing ophthalmologists, and allied eye care personnel. In addition, web-based teaching courses and the Webinar network (http://ophthalmologywebinars.blogspot.com.ar/?ref = ico) serve to improve access to online education and sharing of resources.

In this special issue of the MEAJO, you will find succinct synopses of important topics in ophthalmic education from international experts in their fields. Palis outlines relevant adult learning principles and provides a practical stepwise approach to improving lecture effectiveness. Lee and associates describe the importance of new competency-based curricula produced by the ICO and how they can be adapted for local use. I review principles of assessment and describe new ophthalmology specific resident assessment tools that can be used to teach and assess at the same time. Filipe and associates define CPD to include traditional Continuing Medical Education (CME) in addition to developing professionalism, communications skills and ethics. Best practices regarding CPD organization and content are emphasized. Finally, Garg argues that formation of ophthalmologist-led teams is essential to improving and providing eye-care globally. They provide principles and existing models to facilitate further team development. In addition, Mayorga and associates describe the use of online webinars to adhere to adult learning principles and produce more effective learning.

This special issue on education serves to emphasize the increasing importance and need of improving ophthalmic education globally. It is essential reading for anyone interested in improving their own teaching skills, their training programs, and the quality of future generations of ophthalmologists.


1Tso MO, Goldberg MF, Lee AG, Selvarajah S, Parrish RK 2 nd , Zagorski Z. An international strategic plan to preserve and restore vision: Four curricula of ophthalmic education. Am J Ophthalmol 2007;143:859-65.
2International Core Curriuclum for Ophthalmic Assistants. Available from: http://www.icoph.org/resources/31/International-Core-Curriculum-For-Ophthalmic-Assistants.html. [Last accessed on 2013 Dec 15].
3International Core Curriuculum for Refractive Error. Available from: http://www.icoph.org/resources/268/International-Core-Curriculum-for-Refractive-Error.html. [Last accessed on 2013 Dec 15].
4Resnikoff S, Felch W, Gauthier TM, Spivey B. The number of ophthalmologists in oractice and training worldwide: A growing gap despite more than 200000 practitioners. Br J Ophthalmol 2012;96:783-7.