Medical student education: New educational models


Learner-centred education

The teacher is the facilitator of learning. The learner must take reaponsibility for their own learning. The goal is not just the transferral of knowledge but also development of the learner in emotional, creative and psychological needs.

It is based in a democracy of learning where learner and student have equal status. This is of course unheard of in the old traditional style of learning.

Challenges facing medical student education

– The students are highly gifted. Most of them may even be more brainy than the lecturer

– The students come from diverse backgrounds (rural schooling to urban schooling, high technology schooling versus low technology schooling, different English proficiency abilities also called language deficit, different expectations of the medical education, different age groups in the class, different learning styles in the class)

Language deficit must be addressed by means of a language laboratory (specialised room with electronic audio resources such as head phones and recordings)

There are 3 different learning styles:

– visual learners (sight learning is the most common form of learning). They cope with written, pictorial and diagrammatic presentations

– auditory learners (auditory learning). They respond to verbal explanations of concepts, in person or via voice recordings

– kinaesthetic learners (activity learning). They learn through activity. They like to watch another person perform an activity before they perform a procedure

There are other theories concerning learning styles. Kolb and Fry developed the concept of a “learning cycle”. This theory brings together (a) concrete experience which is followed by (b) reflective observation, followed by (c) abstract conceptualisation, followed by (d) active experimentation and then followed up by (a) concrete experience, (b) reflective observation, etc., etc.

Learning styles by Kolb and Fry

Converger:   Abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation

Diverger: Concrete experience ans reflective observation; imaginitive and aesthetic, interested in people and the ideas of people

Assimilator: Abstract conceptualisation and reflective observation: theoretical, interested in abstract connections and ideas

Accommodator: Concrete experience and active experimentation: practical, adventurous and intuitive

Every lecture must have set goals. These goals  are defined with a lesson plan. The lesson plan is a handy way on seeing whether you as lecturer stays  on track while facilitating the lecture. The  goals must take into consideration the learning styles of the students (visual, auditory or kineasthetic).  The lesson plan also plans the closure of the lecture, summarising the content covered in the lecture.