Making the most of teaching at the chairside
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This paper examines the chairside as an opportunity for teaching and learning. It sets out to understand how students learn in the dental clinic so that they can better be supported in their clinical learning. The paper draws on current theories of learning to establish a rationale for effective chairside teaching. Current theories highlight the active role of learners in ‘constructing’ their own knowledge of a field, and emphasize the importance of active learning and reflection in this process. The paper is practical is nature. It weaves evidence from empirical studies of medical and dental clinical teaching, as well as ‘best practice tips’ from the literature, with theory to suggest a strategy for effective teaching in the clinical context. The paper concludes with a caveat, warning that effective clinical teaching requires an investment in time.