ERIC Number: ED272091
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr-16
Reference Count: 0
The Phases of Adjustment to Professional Education.
Schifter, Catherine C.
The effect of a patient care oriented dental school curriculum that integrated the basic sciences with dental and clinical sciences was investigated. The focus was to understand the processes by which entering dental students progress through the first year of the new curriculum and to assess the effect of the curriculum on students' professionalization. The study employed a survey-questionnaire, standardized occupational interest inventory, document analysis, participant-observation, and personal interviews. For 89 students entering dental school in fall 1984, three phases of adjustment to professional education were assessed: development of a class identity, development of mechanisms to cope with uncertainty, and development of independence. Students' awareness that they were experiencing a new curriculum helped develop class identity. Interpersonal relationships developed within the class that were supportive and collegial. Simultaneously, a pattern of independence developed, since the evaluation system discouraged requesting assistance from faculty. As the year progressed and requirements increased, students began to exhibit self-oriented, self-sufficient, Machiavellian behaviors, with a decrease in group support behaviors. They were less humane or other-oriented. A three-page bibliography concluded the document. (SW)
Descriptors: Coping, Dental Students, Egocentrism, Helping Relationship, Higher Education, Interpersonal Relationship, Peer Relationship, Personal Autonomy, Professional Autonomy, Professional Development, Professional Education, Psychological Patterns, Social Behavior, Student Adjustment, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).