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Am J Physiol. 1995 Jun;268(6 Pt 3):S66-74.

Teaching physiology by combined passive (pedagogical) and active (andragogical) methods.

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Department of Physiology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington 40536-0084, USA.


Pedagogy and andragogy are models of education based, respectively, on passive and active learning. This project compared two balanced sections of an undergraduate course in physiology. Both sections used the pedagogical method of didactic lectures to present basic material. Students in section 01 were given multiple-choice examinations, a pedagogical procedure, over the lecture content for the purpose of performance evaluation. In section 02 the lectures were used as an information source, which students combined with other information researched in the library to draft essays on assigned topics, i.e., an andragogical approach. Grading of the essays constituted 75% of a student's performance evaluation, with participation in class discussions making up the remaining 25%. There was no significant difference in overall performance outcome between the two sections (P > 0.47). Students from both sections valued the lectures, even though they served a different purpose in each section. However, overall the student rating of section 02 was significantly higher than that of section 01 (P < or = 0.05). This reflected different teaching methods rather than different teachers, because the ratings of the two instructors were virtually identical (P > 0.98). These results suggest that a combined pedagogical and andragogical approach is an acceptable model for teaching introductory physiology.

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