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Comparison of liberal arts curricula between three year and four year dental hygiene departments in Korea

Won Bok Yeon 1 Jang Gye Won 2 Mi-Yeong Hwang 3 Jong-Hwa Jang 4

1대전보건대학교
2진주보건대학교
3동남보건대학교
4한서대학교

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ABSTRACT

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the liberal arts curricula of domestic 3 year and 4 year dental hygiene departments and to obtain the basic data for the development of a standardized dental hygiene curriculum. Methods: The liberal arts curricula of fifteen 3 year and 4 year dental hygiene departments in Korea and other countries were analyzed. A survey was conducted on 801 selected dental hygiene majors from December 8 to 12, 2014. A self-reported questionnaire was completed by 750 dental hygiene students and 150 dental hygiene professors. The questionnaire consisted of 5 questions of general characteristics and 13 questions including curricula change, usability of curricula, awareness of the suitability of dental hygiene curricula, and validity of curricula. Cronbach’a alpha was 0.71 in this study. Results: The grade point average in the liberal arts courses in Korean 4 year dental hygiene departments were 29, which was higher than that in 3 year dental hygiene departments of 13.2. There were large disparities among the colleges in the credits of these courses. The most common liberal arts courses in 4 year dental hygiene departments were foreign languages, man, society and communication, and natural science. In 3 year dental hygiene departments, English and foreign languages were the most common courses, followed by computer, man and society, philosophy and ethics. Foreign languages were considered to be the liberal arts course that should be most strengthened according to the job environment change of dental hygienist in globalizing society, followed by social psychology and pedagogy. Conclusions: Liberal arts courses were offered in the 4 year dental hygiene departments than in the 3 year dental hygiene departments in Korea, but there were a great deal of differences between colleges. The preparation of standardized guidelines on liberal arts courses are necessary. Liberal arts courses should support the performance skill and knowledge of the dental hygienists.

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