Last weekend Dr. Dayan attended the 2015 Directors Summit of the Seattle Study Club, an elite international network of doctors whose underlying goal is to elevate the standard of care in the community, where she played a key role in developing the annual curriculum for the upcoming year. The club, which meets regularly to discuss cutting edge developments in dentistry and features presentations by world-renowned clinical speakers, has expanded to over 250 locations around the world over the last two decades. Being an artisan club, the Seattle Study Club offers customized catering to its members’ individual needs, developing a comprehensive curriculum for those who don’t have the luxury of being back in school full-time. Dr. Dayan is the director and founder of the Boston Study Club.
At this year’s Directors Summit, there was an emphasis on interactive versus passive learning. Passive learning, e.g. listening to a recording or watching a video, often performs poorly when it comes to the retention of the information being presented in comparison to interactive learning. When learning passively, it is easy for us to “check-out” mentally. Interactive learning, however, engages the mind and keeps our attention. According to American educationalist Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience, people remember about 50% of a visual and auditory presentation, but retain up to 90% of the information if they actively engage in that presentation. This suggests a staggering 40% difference in information retention between interactive and passive learning.
The Seattle Study Club favors engaging, interactive presentations over the more traditional, passive approach to teaching often employed by competing organizations. Seattle Study Clubs are like a “university without walls,” providing resources that would be available at a dental school in a collaborative, enjoyable learning environment. At a Seattle Study Club meeting, attendees are often presented with various real-life case studies. Many of these case studies involve collaborations between doctors, who are then encouraged to give their input on how they would treat the patient in a presented case study, and their proposed strategies are then compared with the actual medical solution that was done for the patient. Members of the Seattle Study Club and its branches are given the opportunity to continually learn from each other in a friendly, scholarly forum. Members are also able to share their individual pearls of wisdom, bestowing their experiences and their most effective techniques upon their peers.