College Is Hard, But Dental School Will Break You Essay

College Is Hard, But Dental School Will Break You Essay

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“College is hard, but Dental school will break you”, is the first statement I heard from a 4th year student when I first started working with my students at my assistantship. I was shocked and confused by this statement because standing before me was a student who had graduate with a 3.95 GPA in their undergraduate study and was in the top of their class in Dental school. I asked them to clarify their statement and they broke it down for me like this; your first two years is all bookwork with a little practical skill and your last two years is all practical work with a little bookwork. They told me that the program breaks you because you can be the best “bookworm”, but not be able to practice well or be the opposite and struggle with bookwork and “kill” clinics. Ambrose and Poklop (2015) note that practical experience provide students with significant intellectual gains and a major increase in confidence when it comes to the selected field of study (Ambrose & Poklop, 2015). As I begin to learn about theory, Kolb’s experiential learning theory keeps taking me back to this initial conversation because students are going to develop and learn in different ways and this program both supports and challenge every student, just at different times. This paper will discus Kolb’s learning styles in detail and show how “pushing” a student through the four-stages using intentional curriculum will be beneficial to the overall practitioner that is produced upon graduation.
Kolb (1984) defined learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (p.38, as cited in Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, & Renn, 2010). This definition is important because the transformation of experience can and does look differen...

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...”, 2015). Also, the University of Iowa has roughly 80% boards pass rate the first time, which is above the 60% national average (Shaun O’Neil, personal communication, February 20, 2015). This data shows that forcing students to adapt and be challenge as learners is in fact beneficial to their overall knowledge of the field of Dentistry.
In conclusion, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry curriculum is backed with Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning and Cycle of Learning. Students are to start in the reflective observation stage and move towards concrete experience and along the path use bookwork, clinical experience and self-discovery to learn the field of dentistry. Upon completion of the program and the Cycle of Learning the students are considered some of the best dentist in the United States and are noted for being continuous learners after graduation.

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