MST Times

Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Newsletter

Spotlight Science Education’s Newest Program – Science and Dental Education Program

By • Jul 31st, 2012 • Category: Lead Story, Science Education

College of Dental Medicine

The Science and Dental Medicine Master of Arts program is the newest addition to the Science Education program at Teachers College.  The 32-point M.A. degree in Science and Dental Education serves students whose professional interests are centered in the enhancement of teaching and learning in the fields of oral and dental surgery; based on scientific and clinical research and evidence of best practices. Dental students, who have expressed an interest in becoming dental educators, can earn an M.A. degree at Teachers College while working toward their professional degree in dentistry (D.D.S) at Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine. Current students of this program will be spotlighted in this edition of the MST Times.

Traditionally, health science education has been content-oriented and the vast majority of medical dental educators have professional doctorates without a grounding in education. This lack of preparation to become teachers of the profession, rather than just being excellent practitioners, is felt keenly by many dental educators. This program provides a sound preparation in theory and practice of dental education drawn from some of the best course offerings in the College of Dental Medicine and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Anderson Chair of the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) and integral in the development of this program stats, “This program is the most important innovation in our department in recent times, it provides a unique opportunity for the students in dental medicine to gain expertise not only in their particular field and profession, but also in the teaching of the Dental Science. It’s innovative because no other major university I know of has a unified pedagogical and dental medicine arrangement.”

The program of study combines content courses from the School of Dental Medicine with professional education courses in dental medical research and practice, complemented by courses that establish breadth in modern theory and practice of education, with special emphasis on adult learning.

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine

In addition to completion of the required course of study all M.A. students submit a final Integrative Project. This is typically an essay of approximately 15 to 20 pages that presents an integrative perspective on theory and practice within their domain of professional interest and demonstrates mastery of the relevant major principles and practices of a field of study. It also usually includes an appropriate data-gathering research report.

This program is officially registered as a dual program with New York State; therefore, students in the program register at both Teachers College and the Dental School at the same time. The origin of the program was a joint effort with Dr. O. Roger Anderson a Chair of the MST Department at Teachers College and Dr. Letty Moss-Salentijn Senior Associate Dean in the College of Dental Medicine.

Students, on average, can complete their coursework and submit the Integrative Project within two academic years. This assumes that the student plans their studies to complete the 12 points of core courses in dental medicine before beginning the remaining 20 points of coursework in the M.A. degree program. Some courses can be taken during summer sessions if necessary to accommodate commitments to clinical work and other coursework and professional obligations in the College of Dental Medicine. Some students may take longer if personal and professional commitments require a less intense commitment to the course of study.

Need More Information on the Science and Dental Education Program?

For more information about this program and degree requirements, visit or contact Dr. O. Roger Anderson, at or Dr. Roseanna Graham at

Teachers College
O. Roger Anderson: Biology content and curriculum research including the application of cognitive theory to science teaching and learning. Prof. Anderson also holds a joint appointment at Columbia University as a Senior Research Scientist (Biology: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). E-mail:

College of Dental Medicine
Dr. Letty Moss-Salentijn: Dr. Moss-Salentijn is Edwin S. Robinson Professor of Dentistry and Senior Associate Dean in the College of Dental Medicine. Her research is in anatomy and cell biology, including oral histology. E-mail:

Dr. Marlene Klyvert: Dr. Klyvert (Ed.D. in College Teaching of Biology, Teachers College) is Special Research Scientist and Special Lecturer in the Department of CDM-Diversity Affairs/DATP. E-mail:

Dr. Roseanna Graham:  Dr. Graham (D.D.S., Columbia University and Ph.D. Science Education, Teachers College) is Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice in the College of Dental Medicine. Her research is in dental clinical practice and dental medical education. E-Mail:



By Deiana Jackson, Graduate Student, Mathematics Education Ed.D.

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