Metacognition in oral health education: A pedagogy worthy of further exploration

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This study aimed to investigate the perceptions of dental students and teachers about introducing metacognition pedagogy within an established clinical professional curriculum to provide primary data informing its feasibility.

Methodology and method
A qualitative study using phenomenography methodology was undertaken as part of a master’s dissertation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on 16 participants which included 9 clinical teachers and 7 dental students.

Metacognition pedagogy was positively perceived by most of the participants as being beneficial to students’ learning in oral health education. A few reported some negativity. All participants identified some challenges to be addressed if a metacognition pedagogy was to be implemented in the undergraduate curriculum.

According to the perceptions of most participants in the study, metacognition emerged as a potential factor in improving student learning and exam performance, and facilitating the development of critical thinking, professionalism, and clinical skills. In the context of rigorous, demanding, and challenging courses, and recognising the complexities and uncertainties inherent in health professional working environments, metacognition emerges as a valuable tool, fostering self-awareness, regulation, and adaptability. Ultimately, metacognition has the capability to shape more adept learners and clinicians, yielding benefits for students, teachers, and patients alike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalMedical Teacher
Early online date29 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Nov 2023

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