Kathryn Truant CDA MEd – a CDA's Role in Education and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Contribution to the learning community – Part 1

EDUC 806
Simon Fraser University – Faculty of Education
MEd Post-Secondary, VCC Cohort
Selected Problems in Higher Education
Professor: Dr. Doug Mauger
Student: Kathryn Truant
October 13, 2020


I began documenting my participation in the Canvas Discussion Forums immediately after the first weekend of classes, which affords me the opportunity to catalogue all the shared resources to date. My contributions, and my cohort’s contributions, in turn, are chronically organized in my Contribution Table. The table is a continuum; it is dynamic. The colour codes correspond to base groups and actions (see the Table Key below).  Further, I have a reference list with ALL the resources received and shared with me in the discussion forums. I admit that this assignment (as time consuming as it is) has been a significant research experience, in that as I am considering my cohort’s issues in higher education, and in researching those issues, I often discover resources that are important to me. As such, I have not completely established my focus in this MEd program, and this exercise is certainly contributing to the unfolding of topics and issues of interest, all of which warrant further investigation.

Contribution Table:

Table Key


Required Contributions:

  • I am an active member, leader, and contributor in my base group, and have been immersed in all base group activities.
  • I am an active forum discussion participant and have responded to everyone’s Introductions, and have also responded as thoughtfully and relevantly as possible.

Key Contributions:

  • I believe that I am a key member of this community in my contributions and my support of individual member of my cohort. See example below:

Hi Simona!
Thank you for sharing your amazing story with us – you are truly an inspiration, and if I had a blog like yours, you would be front and centre! I love the concept.
I had no idea that you were dealing with such troubled students. You see potential in them and yet you cannot always do all that you want to help them! You are truly a compassionate and empathetic person and your school is lucky to have you Simona, and not just for your expertise in the industry!

Cary Campbell shared a book with us in the first semester. In case you didn’t get the title, it is Deconstructing Anxiety – The Journey from Fear to Fulfillment by Todd Preston (2019). Dr. Preston was also featured in Psychology Today this past summer. I am sharing these resources because they helped me gain a greater understanding of anxiety and how I can be a small part in understanding an individual’s suffering.
As for your statements: I think that #3 is a fib 😉
September 28

  • I am an active and daily contributor in the discussion forums.
  • My posts and responses reflect a breadth and depth of thinking with secondary research in support of my posts. See examples below:

A greatly informed diatribe Corbin – I always appreciate your perspective and your truths. I can absolutely relate to the de-humanizing attitude of institutions (educational and otherwise) towards ‘sub-trades.’ As a dental assistant, our role is to serve the dentist and quite often CDA’s are treated as less-than. I mention in my response to Adrian’s Intro that dentists have gone as far as hiring untrained, inexperienced people with no formal theory background in dentistry to fill the shortage of dental assistant’s in the Lower Mainland and in my opinion, so that they don’t have to pay the wages of a CDA – shame on them. This issue also occurs in other parts of the province and throughout Canada – specifically remote areas, and larger centres like Vancouver where the cost of living is very high and dental assistants simply cannot afford to thrive in these areas. Okay enough venting on my part, but you’ve raised an important issue (and on the STEEP model, I would agree that this issue falls under, social political, AND economics). I especially like your statement,

“How are certain disciplines or areas of study meant to flourish if societies or educational bodies do not regard them important enough for their education to be thorough enough to prepare students forth workforce?”

You suggest fostering a holistic approach to education and I agree, but how? In my small world (the micro level), I can research ways to instill meaning and pride in my students – to build their confidence so that they have the tools to demand and expect their rightful and respected place in the workforce. I am so new to teaching that change on the macro level is astoundingly mind-numbing. There are countless resources at our disposal regarding creating holistic educational environments for our students, and the fact that you care so much about your profession (and obviously, your students) indicates that you are already changing attitudes. I know you have the Beautiful Risk of Education in your (vast) bookshelves; Biesta discusses the three educational domains that are required to transform a person: qualification, socialization, and subjectification (2013), and until students start to view themselves in this light, a grass roots movement so to speak, radical change will not gain momentum. I digress. 

Now, considering your statements, I do not believe that you are or were a professional ‘Magic’ player.
September 22

Kerri, I absolutely love your video!! Thank you for taking us into the inner workings of cardiac surgery, something I hope none of us have to experience first-hand! My question is: what is worse margarine or butter?? Ha sorry I had to ask 🙂
Also, I love that you make your issue very clear. I do believe that it will take someone like you to initiate the endeavor of building a community of knowledge in your domain. You are a leader! You admitted it! Find some like-minded individuals who you can delegate and share this enormous task with. I agree with Joanne that it would have to be a grassroots venture for sure, and it would have to start out very political!
What about doing something as simple as starting a blog and sharing what you do at your hospital and in turn solicit another hospital to share their methods as well. You may discover some ‘life hacks’ along the way that will inform your practice, and also give others their own aha moments at their respective institutions. Just a thought. You literally would be sharing LIFE hacks❤ That’s what you can call your website🙂

I have a WordPress blog that I had to make in the PIDP (you probably did too?). It has now become a resource that I share when I’m training in the community (specifically RN’s in our oral surgery practice that have no intimate knowledge of the oral cavity). 

Oh, and I think your fib is #3. I believe that you can fly but maybe you’re not registered?
September 24

  • I have read every single post in the discussion forum (outside of my own).
  • I contributed additional posts in each of the STEEP Model’s categories (outside of my own base group), and in Coffee Shop. An example:

Hi everyone!
There are a couple of great courses being offered by BCcampus:

Engaging Online Learners 

Creating Accessible OER (Open Educational Resources) in Pressbooks 

I’ve created online manuals using the Pressbooks software and it’s pretty cool.
Maybe Team Techno would be interested in these courses?
September 30

  • I respond to each post in my own (and my base group’s) discussion forum in a timely manner.
  • I am extremely methodical in my approach to my learning and in amassing resources (I need to have resources at my fingertips).
  • To date, I have not received responses and feedback from all members of the cohort regarding my introduction, but I scour the forums daily and will respond to feedback in a timely manner (usually within a day or two).

Grade: 14.5/15

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