Cataract is the most common cause of visual impairment that can be effectively treated by surgery and cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the world. With modern cataract operation techniques, patients expect excellent results. Teaching and training of new surgeons involve both pedagogical and ethical challenges for teachers and trainees, and also may pose a potential risk to patients. This literature-based essay aims to describe how behavioristic, cognitive and conceptual learning perspectives can be recognized during the trainee surgeon’s progress. It also describes how teacher-pupil relationships may vary during the training process. Finally it presents the concept of situational tutorship, where the teacher adapts to the stages that the trainee passes through with increasing experience. Teaching and trainee surgeons who are aware of pedagogical concepts such as teacher-pupil relationships and tutoring strategies may use this knowledge to optimize the learning process. Further research is needed to clarify how using this knowledge may affect the training of new cataract surgeons.
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