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Threshold concepts in dental education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2011
E-pub ahead of print30 Jan 2011
Published1 Nov 2011

King's Authors


The paper presents a conceptual framework to inform dental education. Drawing from a vast body of research into student learning, the simple model presented here has an explanatory value in describing what is currently observed to happen and a predictive value in guiding future teaching practices. We introduce to dental education the application of threshold concepts that have a transformative role in offering a new vision of the curriculum that helps to move away from the medieval transmission model of higher education towards a dual processing model that better reflects the way in which professionals operate within the discipline. Threshold concepts give a role for the student voice in offering a novice perspective which is paradoxically something that is out of reach of the subject expert. Finally, the application of threshold concepts highlights some of the weaknesses in the competency-based training model of clinical teaching.

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