PAKISTAN ARMED FORCES
MEDICAL JOURNAL (Category Y)

A Journal of Army Medical & Dental Corps

Being published since 1956

ISSN (online) 2411-8842
ISSN (print) 0030-9648

VOL 67, No. 4, AUGUST 2017

ADOPTING LEARNER-CENTERED APPROACH IN TEACHING PHYSIOLOGY

Editorial

A paradigm shift has occurred in education from providing instruction to produce learning. An innovation in medical education is not a very simple task. In last few decades, knowledge
about cognitive processes and teaching and learning strategies has been gathered to determine the most effective way to teach1. Scientific evidence favors that active student
participation leads to schema formation, consolidation of new knowledge, retrieval of information and improvement in learning outcomes2. In addition, literature has proved the concept that information must be given simultaneously in multisensory modalities, substantial amount of data specifies that the most efficient way of teaching physiology to a diverse group of students consists in providing information in a mode that focuses multiple learning styles benefiting visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners3. According to Olson’s “And, But, Therefore” approach, “Physiology is the basic foundation of all the health professions AND physiology can be hard for students to figure out BUT many physiology courses expect students to memorize a large number of facts; THEREFORE, my scholarship is to help students learn physiology better for the long-term with various types of student centered learning opportunities4.” Student centered techniques can be incorporated both in large group interactive sessions and small groups in order to direct them towards meaningful learning and promoting critical thinking and decision making skills among students2,5. The achievement of any teaching session lies in planning the strategies which allows the students to gain maximum meaningful knowledge in the short time period and in this regard students are the best judges to assess the efficacy of the teaching session and assessment methodology3. The General Medical Council in the United Kingdom suggests that learning must be “a process in which students are responsible for organizing and managing their own learning activities and needs6.”In medical colleges students come from different social and cultural background so more versatile approach to teaching/ learning activities could be used to increase their involvement. Use of techniques like problem based learning (PBL), Case based discussions (CBD), and team based learning (TBL) in order to increase not only their communication, collaborative learning or  interpersonal skills but also their decision making and critical thinking skills3,6. “Flipped classroom” approach can also be used to focus learning instead of passive listening to teachers in class room, reading books, collecting lecture notes because this way learners could play an active role in their learning process when confronted with situations showing real life problems2.  The ultimate goal of education is to ensure that students can be transformed into most effective deliverers of patient care and to achieve this purpose we have to provide students with better learning opportunities that will facilitate the development of knowledge that is relevant and meaningful to clinical practice.
 

Reference


1. Kalpana Kumari MK, Mysorekar VV, Raja S. Student’s perception about integrated teaching in an undergraduate medical curriculum. J Clin Diagnostic Res 2012; 5: 1256–9.
2. Rezene-Filho FM, Fonseca LJA, Souza VN, Guedes G, Rabelo LA. Student-centered approach for developing active learning: the construction of physical models as a teaching tool in medical physiology BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:189.
3. Rehman R, Ahmed K, Rehan R, Hassan F, Syed F. Learning approaches and performance of medical students. J Pak Med Assoc 2016; 66:198-202.
4. Goodman BE. An Evolution in student-centered teaching. Adv Physiol Educ 2016; 40(3): 278-82.
5. Sawant SR. Rizvi S. Study of passive didactic teacher centered approach and an active student centered approach in teaching Anatomy. Int J Anat Res 2015, 3(3):1192-97.
6. Lemos AR, Sandars JE, Alves P, Costa MJ. The evaluation of student–centeredness of teaching and learning: a new  mixed method approach. Int J Med Edu 2014; 5: 157-64.

Dr Munazza Asad MBBS, FCPS
Associate Professor of Physiology
Al-Nafees Medical College & Hospital
Isra University Islambad, Pakistan
Email: munazza_wah@yahoo.com



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