DHED 406: Community Dental Health II

Jill Butters

As a result of participating in the fall 2009 Faculty Learning Community on Critical Thinking (FLC-CT), Professor Butters incorporated the Elements of Thought into DHED 406: Community Dental Health II. She focused on this practicum course in order to help students learn to ask the right questions in diagnosing and analyzing specific oral health problems in their communities.

Incorporating critical thinking elements helped my students connect the individual steps and better see the whole picture.

Professor Butters introduced the Paul-Elder approach to critical thinking to her students as a way to analyze various parts of thinking. Specifically, she began using the "Muddiest Point" Classroom Assessment Technique in order to gain more immediate feedback from her students. Also, SEE-I exercises were incorporated into the course to provide students with a method to clarify their thoughts. Finally, Professor Butters revised the course’s syllabus and original final paper, an individual reflection paper [PDF], into an assignment [PDF] that more accurately reflected the Elements of Thought and encouraged deeper understanding of the students' practicum project and its role in the community.

Their reflections on the project indicated that they went beyond a mere description of their project and took the time to reflect on the project with regards to the Elements of Thought.

—Jill Butters

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