The best metaphor is to use the example of a glass. We say that while it is not inaccurate to say that the glass is transparent, it is evident that transparency is not the purpose of the glass. Transparency is one of the attributes of the glass, but its purpose is to hold liquid. Similarly, one of the attributes of our Educational activities is that they become portals for like-minded dentists to enter the new culture of LLL (Life Long Learning) by troops or become instruments for teaching others- but that is not their purpose.
We stress on this issue that the purpose of our Educational activities is to enable us to serve society and help “translate that which hath been written into reality and action”.
How many of us have looked at Educational activities as a way of building an ever-advancing civilization, of creating a new race of men, as a way for the betterment of society? Perhaps for a lot of us, Educational activities are simply about inquiring new skills, attending conferences and getting new credit hours. After 14 years of teaching the IDSC redefines education as follows, the primary purpose of our Educational activities is to raise our capacity to serve society, such that these activities become instruments for developing communities, and not merely instruments for financial reward.
We encourage the participants present at IDSC to re-look at the OIR Institute programs from A-Z with the eye of community building and to reflect on how the concepts embedded in them could be used for social action and not just for the sake of expansion of treatments provided and consolidation in up-to-date knowledge.
For instance, the very first quotation in our course about the “betterment of the world through pure and goodly deeds” was intended to remind ourselves that the reason for becoming more truthful is to contribute as much to a better society as it is for the sake of our own progress! It is clear that we need to imbue participants engaged in our Educational activities with a vision of social transformation as well as personal transformation.
Now if someone were to ask us whether the purpose of us inviting dentists to join the study consortium is to make them implantologists, we can confidently say ‘only partially’ and tell them that the purpose of our Educational activities is to assist in the transformation and betterment of society.