Classroom Vignette #2

Classroom Vignette #2

Looking in: Evaluation of Clinical Judgment

The professor dims the lights in the classroom and explains, “This month we are going to talk about dental malpractice.” He tells students that he does dental malpractice with about 10 firms around the state. “I’ve got a case that I’m going to pass out to you at the end of the class for your homework. As you read this you’ll get a sense of how these things unfold…. Bear with me I am going to discuss some basic law information first…”
He reviews types of public and private law and he shows the purpose and characteristics of public and private law on PowerPoint slides. He points out different types of private laws (contract, property, and tort) and defines tort as…”a civil wrong against an individual” and describes what negligence is … “duty of care”… He continues to read from slides and says, “Are there any questions?  Without pause he continues, “If you have any questions, ok, but don’t make them too hard.” Next he describes standard of care and explains that there are things that are customary in patient dental care. Following this he discusses the definition of malpractice and continues to provide an overview of legal terminology and legal procedure. He points out to students that when they are reviewing a plaintiff’s petition, that it is important not to write anything down, and that they should first talk over the information with the attorney. “If you write anything down at this point that it must be introduced into evidence.”

The professor continues this overview with a discussion about the statues of limitation “Well you say, ya’ know I don’t want to know all this stuff… however, when you get that diploma you’re supposed to know all of this stuff…. Lawsuits are expensive….  It is hard to practice when you have a lawsuit hanging over your head… and they will charge you for every single minute that they are working on your case…it is a very involved process.” He describes advantages of a settlement. “Litigation is civilized warfare because you can’t go out and shoot each other at noon anymore….” He explains that the revenge-factor is prominent in most lawsuits. He concludes the presentation with George Bernard Shaw quote:  “…greatest problem of communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” The last slide reads… Questions? Sub group assignment. “Does anyone have any questions about what your [assignment]…. You won’t need any library stuff…I hope you think that this is kind of interesting…See you Thursday.”

Classroom Vignette #2 Questions

1. Describe the way in which the teacher provides instruction.

2. What are some strategies that the instructor could have used to promote critical thinking skills?

After you answer these questions, you may wish to review the author’s impressions in Appendix B.