A framework for service-learning in dental education

J Dent Educ. 2006 Feb;70(2):115-23.


Service-learning has become an important component of higher education. Integrating service-learning into dental and dental hygiene curricula will foster graduates who are better prepared to work effectively among diverse populations and to function dynamically in the health policy arena. Although the phrase is familiar to dental educators, there is not a consistent understanding of what comprises this pedagogy. This article offers a framework for service-learning in dental education and describes ten components that characterize true service-learning. This framework can provide a common understanding of this form of experiential education that brings community engagement and educational objectives together. More effective programs can be built around a shared understanding of the characteristics and goals of service-learning in dental education.

MeSH terms

  • Community Dentistry / education*
  • Dental Care for Disabled / organization & administration
  • Dental Health Services*
  • Education, Dental / methods*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Models, Educational*
  • Preceptorship / methods
  • Preceptorship / organization & administration*
  • United States