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Teaching for clinical reasoning - helping students make the conceptual links

Teaching for clinical reasoning - helping students make the conceptual links

Medical Teacher 32(10): E436

Dental educators complain that students struggle to apply what they have learnt theoretically in the clinical context. This paper is premised on the assumption that there is a relationship between conceptual thinking and clinical reasoning. The paper provides a theoretical framework for understanding the relationship between conceptual learning and clinical reasoning. A review of current literature is used to explain the way in which conceptual understanding influences clinical reasoning and the transfer of theoretical understandings to the clinical context. The paper argues that the connections made between concepts are what is significant about conceptual understanding. From this point of departure the paper describes teaching strategies that facilitate the kinds of learning opportunities that students need in order to develop conceptual understanding and to be able to transfer knowledge from theoretical to clinical contexts. Along with a variety of teaching strategies, the value of concept maps is discussed. The paper provides a framework for understanding the difficulties that students have in developing conceptual networks appropriate for later clinical reasoning. In explaining how students learn for clinical application, the paper provides a theoretical framework that can inform how dental educators facilitate the conceptual learning, and later clinical reasoning, of their students.

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Accession: 056128083

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 20854150

DOI: 10.3109/01421591003695303

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