Bulletin of Dental Education

Chair Symposia at the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition to Focus on Optimizing Learning for All Students

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The 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition is bringing together experts from all points of view to address “The Science of Learning.” This year’s Chair Symposia is a series of three sessions providing attendees with a deep dive into how educators can optimize learning with a better understanding of how the brain works and provide the best education to students. Contributors from inside and outside of academic dentistry will share a myriad of perspectives and approaches to improving learning among students.

Opening this series on Monday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m. is “Urban Legend or Brain Fact: The Truth About Learning,” a session presented by Nader Nadershahi, D.D.S., M.B.A., Ed.D., Dan Welch, Ph.D., and Cameron Jeter, Ph.D. Americans are seeking ways to improve their brainpower, and gimmicks and fads for increasing brainpower are more popular than ever. “Use it or lose it” does apply to the brain, but which of the plethora of learning tools are grounded in veridical research-based evidence? This session will explain the brain basics of acquiring and retaining information, expose mythical strategies of learning and memory and counter them with concrete research-substantiated learning and retention strategies. Come learn from neuroscientists which methods are fables and which are vetted truths. 

The next offering in this series, taking place Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., will address students with learning disabilities, an increasing phenomenon on college campuses across the country. Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., National Center for Learning Disabilities, and Pamela Zarkowski, J.D., M.P.H., University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, will present “Strategies and Suggestions for Accommodating Students with Learning Disabilities.” The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its 2008 amendments require colleges and universities to provide reasonable accommodations. Providing accommodations for students in predoctoral, dental hygiene and graduate programs must balance the need to meet the legal requirement with allowing the student to demonstrate competency and meet technical standards as outlined by the program. In addition, the symposium will review strategies for accommodating students in light of the curricular expectations of dental and dental hygiene programs. Issues to be reviewed will include universal design in education, accommodations in the classroom and preclinical laboratories and distance education. During the symposium, participants will have opportunities to discuss recommendations for policy and procedures as well as share best practices in faculty and staff training. 

The final session in the Chair of the ADEA Board Symposia Series, “Engaging the Brain: Art and the Science of Dentistry,” will take place Tuesday, March 18 at 8:00 a.m. The technical nature of the dental school curriculum promotes logical, sequential and analytical thought, leaving little room to engage the random intuitive holistic and subjective parts of the brain. This creates a “disconnect” between the art and science of dentistry. Catherine Flaitz, D.D.S., M.S., Karen Novak, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., and Jay Heuman of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, will share how visual engagement with works of art, followed by small group discussions, reflective essays and journal entries can enhance three skill sets: (1) close observation, (2) unbiased analysis and (3) clear empathetic communication—important in the art of patient care. 

Attend these engaging symposia by registering for the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition at www.adea.org/2014.

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