College instructors often wrestle with contradictory educational goals, such as covering broader topics at a deeper level or enhancing higher order thinking with broader factual knowledge (Hung, Bailey, & Jonassen, 2003) in a very limited time. An introductory course in anesthesiology offered at dental schools in South Korea was not an exception. The goal of the Introduction to Anesthesiology course was to help dental students understand broad topics related to anesthesiology and gain deeper levels of understanding of an anesthesiologist’s decision-making processes in a given timeframe of one semester credit hour. Consequently, the instructor had to focus on delivering massive amounts of factual knowledge through a given textbook. Unquestionably, the instructor rarely observed students engaging in reflective thinking or appreciating experts’ decision-making processes. The decontextualized information received and memorized through this class had seemed to remain as “inert ideas” in students’ minds, which is inactive knowledge constructed without critical thinking (Whitehead, 1927). This is a classic problem in education that most college instructors have experienced in their own practices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)