Objective: Compare the results of administering the DREEM questionnaire in two Nigerian medical schools offering traditional and student-centred curricular respectively, to identify any differences in the learning environment and appreciate advantages of the more modern curriculum.
Methods: A survey design was used. Data was analysed using the DREEM scoring rubric. The independent t-test was used to compare results.
Setting: The DREEM questionnaire was administered to final year medical students at two participating centres.
Participants: Final year students of a teacher-centred and a student-centred medical school.
Results: There were 138 respondents - 50 (96.2% of the final year students) from the teacher centred school and 88 (59.1% of the final year students) from the student-centred school. The mean total DREEM score was 117+22.3 in the former and 119 +23.6 in the latter (p = 0.798). Mean age of students in the teacher centred school was 28 ± 5.28 years, while that of the student-centred school was 23 ± 1.83 years (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The mean total DREEM score proximity between the schools suggests that the younger students using a more student-centred curriculum have less of an appreciation of their improved learning environment than is expected. Thus, the hidden curriculum could be lagging behind the written one. The older students in the teacher centred environment have a more mature appreciation of their learning climate.