Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry

: 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-

To educate the educators

Kundabala Mala 
 Editor-In-Chief, Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal University, Mangalore 575 001, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Kundabala Mala
Editor-In-Chief, Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal University, Mangalore 575 001, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Mala K. To educate the educators.J Interdiscip Dentistry 2013;3:51-51

How to cite this URL:
Mala K. To educate the educators. J Interdiscip Dentistry [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Jun 3 ];3:51-51
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Full Text

Dear Readers,

Who will guard the guardians themselves?

……………Greek philosopher Plato's Republic.

"In every experience, man yearns to gain the perfect; he wants happiness and peace. Perfect peace and endless happiness alone satisfy him"

….………Swami Chinmayananda

One must have a goal, a mission or an ideology in life, the fulfillment of which will see things work out best for everybody who is around you. Only then does work become its own reward and give great joy, not just in terms of materialistic remuneration but also from the satisfaction of giving back to the society to which we belong. For a teacher, there can be no greater reward than the satisfaction of knowing that his students are inspired by his teaching and his work. To have such an impact on his students, a teacher has perforce to be a continuous learner himself to add to his fund of knowledge, to hone his skills and to cultivate the right attitude for his ever-changing generations of students. And, for that purpose today, there are enough continuing faculty development programs being conducted to enhance the teachers' teaching skills.

It is of great importance that dental educators and teachers in dental schools be formally trained in pedagogy in order to be able to efficiently and impressively impart teaching in their areas of expertise. Statutory bodies have to ensure that the education of the next generation of dentists is given by teachers who are well trained in pedagogy and who periodically go through faculty development programs. Council may give appropriate accreditation when faculty attend conferences and such programs. Unfortunately, conferences today have become sightseeing holidays rather than programs to update oneself. It may be better to have periodic faculty development programs, workshops, certificate courses and enforce attendance to improve teaching standards.

The need of the hour is curriculum refinement. Basic subjects should be taught with more emphasis on applied aspects along with ethics, best educational practices and research methodology to help in clinical practice. For that, the learning process should be conducted as a case-based learning (CBL) or as a problem-based learning (PBL). Group discussions and interactive sessions not only improve learning but also make the learning process itself more interesting than didactic theory classes. Learning programs on personality development, communication skills and etiquette will add charm to our profession. In addition to university examinations, day-to-day evaluation and internal assessment should be given equal importance. Day-to-day evaluation should include evaluation of the students' knowledge of the subject, their clinical skills, the infection control and ethical practices that they follow in the course of their work, their attitude toward and relationship with their patients, teachers and colleagues and their aptitude for team work.

Perfection, it is said, is a habit and can only be achieved by perseverance. Teachers have a major role to play in producing perfectionism in their students. According to Brad Henry, "A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a love of learning."

I wish all dental educators the very best of luck.

Sincerely yours,