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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-75

Influence of sociocultural norms on classroom behaviour of dental students in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M O Folayan
Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1596-4078.243434

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Background: Sociocultural norms influence everyday behaviour and social interactions. These norms may influence behaviour and interactions between students and lecturers in the classroom. Objective: The study explored ways by which sociocultural norms influenced classroom behaviour of dental students. It also explored the differences in students' perceived and lecturers' expectations of classroom behaviours displayed by students. Methods: A close- and open-ended questionnaire was administered to final year students and lecturers in the Dental School of Obafemi, Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, to identify the perception of students' and lecturers' expectations of classroom behaviours, and their perception on how sociocultural norms influenced their interactions. Descriptive and bivariate analysis was conducted. Qualitative data were analysed using the ground theory. Results: Thirty-seven (78.7%) of 47 eligible students and 13 (81.3%) of 16 eligible lecturers responded. While 12 (92.3%) lecturers expected their students to feel free to share views contrary to their opinion, only 6 (16.2%) students felt lectures expected this behaviour (P < 0.001). All lecturers felt that student–lecturer interaction on study subjects should continue beyond the classroom compared to 25 (67.6%) of students (P = 0.02). Also, all lecturers felt students should have the freedom to express any perspective beyond the conventional thoughts on the subject matter while only 20 (54.1%) students felt lecturer expect that (P = 0.002). In addition, 18 (49.8%) students compared with 11 (84.6%) lecturers expected informal student–lecturer interactions during classroom sessions (P = 0.003). Both students and lecturers felt that sociocultural norms about 'respectful behaviour' limit classroom behaviour and interactions. Conclusion: Sociocultural norms significantly influenced classroom behaviour of dental students and interfered with critical thinking and mentorship processes. Students and lecturers in the faculty need to undergo value clarifications to overcome the influence of personal sociocultural values on learning processes.


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