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BMC Med Educ. 2014 Sep 15;14:189. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-14-189.

A student-centered approach for developing active learning: the construction of physical models as a teaching tool in medical physiology.

Author information

1
Laboratório de Reatividade Cardiovascular, Setor de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Av, Lourival de Melo Mota S/N, Bairro Tabuleiro dos Martins, Maceió 57072-900, Alagoas, Brazil. luizaa.rabelo@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Teaching physiology, a complex and constantly evolving subject, is not a simple task. A considerable body of knowledge about cognitive processes and teaching and learning methods has accumulated over the years, helping teachers to determine the most efficient way to teach, and highlighting student's active participation as a means to improve learning outcomes. In this context, this paper describes and qualitatively analyzes an experience of a student-centered teaching-learning methodology based on the construction of physiological-physical models, focusing on their possible application in the practice of teaching physiology.

METHODS:

After having Physiology classes and revising the literature, students, divided in small groups, built physiological-physical models predominantly using low-cost materials, for studying different topics in Physiology. Groups were followed by monitors and guided by teachers during the whole process, finally presenting the results in a Symposium on Integrative Physiology.

RESULTS:

Along the proposed activities, students were capable of efficiently creating physiological-physical models (118 in total) highly representative of different physiological processes. The implementation of the proposal indicated that students successfully achieved active learning and meaningful learning in Physiology while addressing multiple learning styles.

CONCLUSION:

The proposed method has proved to be an attractive, accessible and relatively simple approach to facilitate the physiology teaching-learning process, while facing difficulties imposed by recent requirements, especially those relating to the use of experimental animals and professional training guidelines. Finally, students' active participation in the production of knowledge may result in a holistic education, and possibly, better professional practices.

PMID:
25223392
PMCID:
PMC4177070
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6920-14-189
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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