239696 Transformative Learning and Public Health Dentistry

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:10 AM

Mary Altenberg, MS, CHES , College of Education, Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Peter Jensen, DMD, MS, MPH , Division of Dental Services, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Access to appropriate care from a dental professional is one of three key components for achieving optimal oral health. According to Mofidi, et al, A key factor contributing to the problem of access is the limited availability of dentists willing to provide care for the underserved (2002, p. 102). Transformative Learning Theory is an adult education based theory that suggests ways in which adults make meaning of their lives. It is about dramatic, fundamental change in the way we see ourselves and the world in which we live. The ultimate goal of Transformative Learning is to enable an individual to develop an extraordinary consciousness to be able to recognize the essential humanity in others, no matter how different from herself. The University Of New Mexico Division Of Dental Services has collaborated with adult education specialists to develop an educational program designed to incorporate transformative learning strategies within its Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Residency Program. The clinical portion of the residency emphasizes treatment to the underserved and provides clinical rotations for the residents so that they experience rural, medically compromised, and special needs populations. The seminar, Patient and Dentist: Making Sense, has been designed to utilize and encourage reflective practice, and incorporates activities to increase cultural competence and professional development through critical reflection, social dialogue and perspective transformation. Major components of the program include guided group discussions, clinical rotation reflections, and a personal journal designed to stimulate transformative learning. Initial results are promising, and will be shared with participants.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain Transformative Learning Theory's role in perspective change in adult development. 2. Describe three teaching strategies based on Transformative Learning Theory.

Keywords: Access to Care, Professional Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the designer of the program using transformative strategies which have been incorporated into the AEGD Residency program at the University of New Mexico, and I have been serving as volunteer faculty presenting the seminar for each of the two years it has been in place.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.