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Eur J Dent Educ. 2005 Feb;9(1):26-31.

Vertical and horizontal integration of knowledge and skills - a working model.

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Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.


The new integrated outcomes-based curriculum for dentistry was introduced at the University of Pretoria in 1997. The first participants graduated at the end of 2001. Educational principles that underpin the new innovative dental curriculum include vertical and horizontal integration, problem-oriented learning, student-centred learning, a holistic attitude to patient care and the promotion of oral health. The aim of this research project was to develop and assay a model to facilitate vertical integration of knowledge and skills thereby justifying the above mentioned action. The learning methodology proposed for the specific outcome of the Odontology module, namely the diagnosis of dental caries and the design of a primary preventive programme, included problem-solving as the driving force for the facilitation of vertical and horizontal integration, and an instructional design for the integration of the basic knowledge and clinical skills into a single learning programme. The paper describes the methodology of problem-oriented learning as applied in this study together with the detail of the programme. The consensus of those teachers who represent the basic and clinical sciences and who participate in this learning programme is that this model is practical and can assist vertical as well as horizontal integration of knowledge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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