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ERIC Number: ED536494
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-5865-2
Promoting Critical Thinking among Dental Hygiene Students: Strategies for Educators
Jordan D'Ambrisi, Kathleen M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Dental hygiene education has evolved over the years from dental hygiene professions who provide patient education on oral health care to assuming the responsibility for the assimilation of knowledge that requires judgment, decision making and critical thinking skills. Given that the dental hygiene professions has moved toward evidence-based, patient-centered care, dental hygiene students need to possess high-level reasoning, problem-solving, and critical thinking to provide effective and efficient dental hygiene care. However, little is known about how dental hygiene educators define critical thinking and what teaching methodologies they utilize and find effective in promoting critical thinking skills. This descriptive, mixed-methods study was developed to identify how dental hygiene educators define critical thinking; strategies utilize to facilitate the development of critical thinking skills, and the perceived effectiveness of the strategies to promote critical thinking skill within dental hygiene students. Eighty-six dental hygiene program directors from accredited dental hygiene programs offering either an associate degree or certificate within the United States responded to a web-based questionnaire. Participants were given the opportunity, in their own words, to define critical thinking. The most prevailing themes in the definition of critical thinking that emerged from over half of the participants were analysis, synthesis, application, and evaluation. Results indicated that although participants had some understanding of critical thinking there was not a consistent definition of critical thinking. The most heavily utilized teaching strategies to promote critical thinking skills were case studies, discussion or dialogues, questioning, small groups or group discussion/activities, demonstrate of skill and written treatment plans. Three of the teaching strategies rating the highest based on mean effectiveness were also ranked within the top five most frequently used critical thinking teaching strategies as indicated by the participants. They included case studies, discussion or dialogues, and written treatment plan. The findings from this study suggest that dental hygiene educators have a basic understanding of critical thinking and they are utilizing various teaching methodologies to promote critical thinking. However, the findings suggest that further research should be done to examine the development of critical thinking skills within dental hygiene students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A