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Concept: Curriculum

175

Most American colleges and universities offer gateway biology courses to meet the needs of three undergraduate audiences: biology and related science majors, many of whom will become biomedical researchers; premedical students meeting medical school requirements and preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT); and students completing general education (GE) graduation requirements. Biology textbooks for these three audiences present a topic scope and sequence that correlates with the topic scope and importance ratings of the biology content specifications for the MCAT regardless of the intended audience. Texts for “nonmajors,” GE courses appear derived directly from their publisher’s majors text. Topic scope and sequence of GE texts reflect those of “their” majors text and, indirectly, the MCAT. MCAT term density of GE texts equals or exceeds that of their corresponding majors text. Most American universities require a GE curriculum to promote a core level of academic understanding among their graduates. This includes civic scientific literacy, recognized as an essential competence for the development of public policies in an increasingly scientific and technological world. Deriving GE biology and related science texts from majors texts designed to meet very different learning objectives may defeat the scientific literacy goals of most schools' GE curricula.

Concepts: Medicine, Education, University, Anatomy, Medical school, College, Curriculum, Association of American Medical Colleges

170

BACKGROUND: Problem-based learning (PBL) has become the most significant innovation in medical education of the past 40 years. In contrast to exam-centred, lecture-based conventional curricula, PBL is a comprehensive curricular strategy that fosters student-centred learning and the skills desired in physicians. The rapid spread of PBL has produced many variants. One of the most common is ‘hybrid PBL’ where conventional teaching methods are implemented alongside PBL. This paper contends that the mixing of these two opposing educational philosophies can undermine PBL and nullify its positive benefits. Schools using hybrid PBL and lacking medical education expertise may end up with a dysfunctional curriculum worse off than the traditional approach. DISCUSSION: For hybrid PBL schools with a dysfunctional curriculum, standard PBL is a cost-feasible option that confers the benefits of the PBL approach. This paper describes the signs of a dysfunctional PBL curriculum to aid hybrid PBL schools in recognising curricular breakdown. Next it discusses alternative curricular strategies and costs associated with PBL. It then details the four critical factors for successful conversion to standard PBL: dealing with staff resistance, understanding the role of lectures, adequate time for preparation and support from the administrative leadership. SUMMARY: Hybrid PBL curricula without oversight by staff with medical education expertise can degenerate into dysfunctional curricula inferior even to the traditional approach from which PBL emerged. Such schools should inspect their curriculum periodically for signs of dysfunction to enable timely corrective action. A decision to convert fully to standard PBL is cost feasible but will require time, expertise and commitment which is only sustainable with supportive leadership.

Concepts: Education, Physician, Educational psychology, College, School, Curriculum, Curricula, Educational philosophy

38

This applied case study centers on two aspects of Peterson’s research as introduced into a large K-12 school in Australia: (i) creating enabling institutions and (ii) applications of character strengths. The paper describes five character strengths initiatives. Four of the strengths initiatives have been integrated into existing school experiences such as English curriculum, school sport, student leadership, and counseling. The fifth initiative involved a brand new program which introduced a Positive Education Curriculum for years K-10. We describe these five initiatives and then explain how students at the school may experience these in a more holistic and integrated way. We hope that this article will act as a fitting tribute to the legacy of Christopher Peterson.

Concepts: Scientific method, Education, Philosophy of science, Case study, School, Student, Teacher, Curriculum

28

Background This study aimed at assessing the impact of including children with intellectual disability (ID) in general education classrooms with support on the academic achievement of their low-, average-, and high-achieving peers without disability. Method A quasi-experimental study was conducted with an experimental group of 202 pupils from classrooms with an included child with mild or moderate ID, and a control group of 202 pupils from classrooms with no included children with special educational needs (matched pairs sample). The progress of these 2 groups in their academic achievement was compared over a period of 1 school year. Results No significant difference was found in the progress of the low-, average-, or high-achieving pupils from classrooms with or without inclusion. Conclusions The results suggest that including children with ID in primary general education classrooms with support does not have a negative impact on the progress of pupils without disability.

Concepts: Education, Educational psychology, Academia, Experiment, Disability, School, Special education, Curriculum

25

The Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report advises nursing education programs to integrate and embed leadership content within all areas of prelicensure nursing curriculum. This critical literature review synthesizes the state of the science of leadership curricula in prelicensure baccalaureate nursing education programs from 2008 to 2013. Gaps are identified and discussed.

Concepts: Education, Social sciences, Nurse, State, Curriculum, Curricula, Curriculum studies, Liberal arts

24

Background: Ethics education rarely exists in pediatric resident curricula, although ethical conflicts are common in the clinical practice. Ethics education can prepare residents to successfully handle these conflicts. Aim: We searched for methods in teaching ethics to clinical and especially pediatric residents, and identified recurring barriers to ethics teaching and solutions to overcome them. Design: Literature from 4 electronic databases with peer-reviewed articles was screened in 3 phases and analyzed. The literature included papers referring to applied methods or recommendations to teaching ethics to clinical residents, and on a second level focusing especially on pediatrics. An analysis and critical appraisal was conducted.

Concepts: Medicine, Education, Physician, Educational psychology, Philosophy, Medical school, Curriculum, Curriculum studies

23

There is a growing recognition that patient engagement is necessary for the cultivation of patient- and family-centered care (PFCC) in the hospital setting. Acting on the emerging understanding that hearing stories from our patients gives valuable insight about our ability to provide compassionate PFCC, we developed an educational patient experience curriculum at our acute care teaching hospital.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Education, Physician, Curriculum, Curriculum studies, Short story, Storytelling

23

Nurse educators rely on the tenets of educational theory and evidence-based education to promote the most effective curriculum and facilitate the best outcomes. The flipped classroom model, in which students assume personal responsibility for knowledge acquisition in a highly engaging and interactive environment, supports self-directed learning and the unique needs of clinical education.

Concepts: Psychology, Education, Educational psychology, Learning, Knowledge, History of education, Curriculum, Education theory

13

Bioinformatics is recognized as part of the essential knowledge base of numerous career paths in biomedical research and healthcare. However, there is little agreement in the field over what that knowledge entails or how best to provide it. These disagreements are compounded by the wide range of populations in need of bioinformatics training, with divergent prior backgrounds and intended application areas. The Curriculum Task Force of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB) Education Committee has sought to provide a framework for training needs and curricula in terms of a set of bioinformatics core competencies that cut across many user personas and training programs. The initial competencies developed based on surveys of employers and training programs have since been refined through a multiyear process of community engagement. This report describes the current status of the competencies and presents a series of use cases illustrating how they are being applied in diverse training contexts. These use cases are intended to demonstrate how others can make use of the competencies and engage in the process of their continuing refinement and application. The report concludes with a consideration of remaining challenges and future plans.

Concepts: Bioinformatics, Biology, Future, Education, Computer program, Computational biology, Computational genomics, Curriculum

7

The lack of palliative medicine (PM) education has been identified as a barrier to the development of the discipline. A number of international institutions have called for its implementation within undergraduate medical curricula.

Concepts: Oncology, Education, Palliative care, Palliative medicine, Hospice, Higher education, Suffering, Curriculum