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Anat Sci Educ. 2014 Jul-Aug;7(4):326-8. doi: 10.1002/ase.1474. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

Anatomy of curriculum: digging to the core.

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Master of Arts in Teaching Program, School of Education, Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota; Contracted Educator, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.


This viewpoint commentary, written from the perspective of a teacher who has helped to educate students in a wide variety of educational environments, is a reaction to the article published in Anatomical Sciences Education on developing of core syllabuses for the anatomical sciences. After reflecting on the definitions of both curriculum and syllabus and their importance as roadmaps for effective instruction, the value of core knowledge and core syllabuses in anatomical sciences was explored. Encouragement for the pursuit of the project proposed in the original article was provided; however, the reminder to not allow any curriculum or syllabus to prevent instructional flexibility was emphasized. Several constructive questions (regarding democracy in curriculum development, the proposed rating scale, and the desirability of reaching local or national consensus before seeking global agreement) were advanced for consideration.


core curriculum; core syllabus; curriculum development; gross anatomy education; medical education; undergraduate education

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