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Contextualising the dental curriculum: A model for a systematic and comprehensive approach to curriculum planning

Mbita, Allan Kalapa 2009. Contextualising the dental curriculum: A model for a systematic and comprehensive approach to curriculum planning. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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The significance of curriculum in formal education is undisputable. In dental education, the curriculum has received renewed attention in the last 15 years as a means of addressing student educational needs and perceived inequalities in access to dental care. Based on a case study of the Welsh Dental School 2001 restructured undergraduate curriculum and the General Dental Council 2002 curriculum framework, this study explores factors informing contemporary dental curriculum. The findings from the study indicate that, although it is commonly claimed that the main driver of curriculum change is to facilitate and enhance the students' learning experience, dental educators are paying attention to the need for socially responsive dental education. However, although a number of curriculum models are available, they suffer from one deficiency: they tend to put emphasis on prevailing education thinking and neglect to situate the curriculum in its wider social context. The net result is production dental graduates who are scientifically informed and technically competent but socio-culturally insensitive. This thesis contributes toward a systematic and holistic approach to dental curriculum by developing a hybrid theoretical framework, which combines Bernstein's concepts of Collection and Integrated curriculum, Dreyfus and Dreyfus' Novice-Expert continuum and Bruner's Spiral curriculum. In addition, based on findings from the case study, the concept of 'total education and socio-cultural environment' (TESE) is introduced as an organising principle for systematically contextualising the curriculum in its wider socio- cultural environment. Taking Zambia as an example, the various elements of the TESE are identified and this forms the basis for developing a hybrid dental curriculum model. The model offers a systematic and comprehensive approaching curriculum planning. It also helps to moves curriculum planning from a narrowly conceived academic exercise to a socially responsive project.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Dentistry
ISBN: 9781303189203
Funders: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2014 16:17

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