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Acad Med. 1998 Sep;73(9 Suppl):S38-45.

Instructional methods.

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1
Office of Medical Education Services, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287-4461, USA.

Abstract

This chapter addresses one of the goals of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "Preparing Physicians for the Future: Program in Medical Education" grants: to introduce new methods of instructions along with curricular revisions. Methods of instruction emphasize "how to teach," in contrast to the curricular reform's "what to teach." The author explores the various ways in which the eight participating schools adopted new instructional methods. The author first sets out the conditions for effective learning, as expressed in earlier research in cognitive psychology. He then reviews the issues in new instructional methods: problem-based learning, small-group learning, self-directed learning, and instructional methods in the service of integration, as well as learning in outpatient settings and computer-based learning. The author concludes, among other things, that schools must respect the variety of ways in which students learns, that some faculty will have to become skilled in unfamiliar teaching methods, that new instructional methods should be based on empirical evidence of effectiveness, and that sometimes method may be less important than the skill and enthusiasm of the teacher.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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