Dental Hygiene ETDs

Publication Date



This study sought to identify educational methodologies utilized by dental hygiene programs that might orient a student towards an occupational or professional model of practice as described by Darby and Walsh. Through the use of an original theorem, Darby and Walshs model was applied to dental hygiene education. An electronic survey queried 334 entry-level programs regarding strategies utilized to develop critical thinking within clinical and didactic courses. Faculty demographics were analyzed for relationships between institutional setting and methodologies utilized. Frequency counts and chi-square analyses revealed much variation in methodologies utilized. Statistical significance was noted in the lack of orientation towards research values within programs awarding associate degrees. Additional research is needed to generalize these conclusions to the population of dental hygiene educators at large; furthermore, establishment of the reliability of the original theorem utilized in this study would generate guidelines for best practices in development of critical thinking skills.

Degree Name

Dental Hygiene

Level of Degree


Department Name

Dental Medicine

First Advisor

Logothetis, Demetra

First Committee Member (Chair)

Nathe, Christine

Second Committee Member

Nunn, Patricia

Third Committee Member

Logothetis, Demetra




Dental Hygiene Education, Critical Thinking, Occupational, Professional

Document Type