When you are trying to tackle a bunch of material it’s always a good idea to pause and evaluate what you are doing. There are many theories of how we learn, but they tend to follow similar trends.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is one way to think about how we learn. When you’re feeling envious of your professors and doctor’s and how they move fluidly through information that seems scattered and confusing remember that this is part of the process.
In graduate school you start at the basics of remembering and understanding. Those first few years are supposed to be the stage where you’re floundering a bit with the names of tools and procedures. You’re working on the base of your pyramid.
As you move forward and into the dental exams, you’re starting to shift up a level into applying and analyzing. Now you are reaching that stage where you are testing the memory and understanding and challenging your ability to apply and analyze. This is why B&B breaks up information into small chunks and offers a wide range of question banks – each one getting progressively harder. Think of it like surfing a knowledge wave – and we’re keeping you at the front.
This is also the stage that makes you ready to start seeing patients. You’re collecting the data from your exams and case history and beginning to analyze that and apply it in real time to the person in front of you!
The final stages of knowledge involve being able to evaluate others and your own work. Think like a food critic, or your professors writing exams. You can effectively look at what’s in front of you and see where all the strengths and weakness are. B&B is doing this for you by providing score reports and detailed explanations of the problems. Your professors are also doing this for you constantly.
The final stage is being able to create new things with the knowledge that you have. This type of insight pushes the field forward. It could be a new test, a more effective treatment, or a better model for patient flow. Being creative is a true sign of mastery.
Written by Dr. Kerri Lyons