Developing educators of European undergraduate dental students: Towards an agreed curriculum

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Abstract

Introduction

Recent developments in European dental education are student-focused, concerned with competency-based and problem-based learning. The development of dental educators has so far received little consideration. This study aimed to agree curriculum content for developing dental educators so that they are better able to support changing undergraduate dental education.

Methods

Adopting consensus methodology, a 2-round Delphi was conducted in 2012. Fifty-three dental educators and 39 dental students across Europe volunteered to take part. The Delphi questionnaire was developed based on literature, piloted and sent to participants to gather opinions and seek consensus on educational content using rating scales and open-ended questions. Numeric data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and qualitative data were analysed thematically.

Results and Discussion

This study revealed 7 domains of curriculum content for dental educators. Four of these domains were considered essential: educational principles; educational practice in dentistry; curriculum, quality and improvement; and educational professionalism. Three domains were viewed as optional and could be tailored to local needs: educational principles in relation to specific contexts, educational research, and educational and healthcare management. When developing training for dental educators, factors which need consideration were identified as the academic position and teaching experience of educators, and the nature of clinical dental education.

Conclusion

The results are beneficial for individual educators to inform professional development plans; institutions to devise faculty developments; ADEE to inform policies on developing European dental educators; and other disciplines to inform training for their educators.

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