The recent changes in the medical school curricula across the country prioritize activities that allow students to acquire knowledge in context. The previous behaviorism-based form of curriculum encouraged students to gain knowledge to get good grades and become successful in the future and primarily focused on the observational form of knowledge gathering through reading and lectures. On the other hand, new forms of medical school curricula target the immediate application of knowledge in practice to facilitate memorizing the material and favor further development of student’s cognitive skills.
The cognitivism learning theory was the inspiration behind the change in curricula. One of the medical school graduates points out that the change of curriculum corresponds with what learning sciences perceive as the most effective way of learning for medicine students (Vanderbilt University, 2013). Furthermore, the associate dean for medical student education at the University of Michigan medical school admitted that the medical field is dynamic and today’s learning material may become outdated tomorrow (Michigan Medicine, 2015). Therefore, students must individually analyze and evaluate information received from practice to develop knowledge. In addition, the UT School of Medicine at San Antonio provides unlimited learning opportunities for students with all the necessary equipment for their experiments to promote the development of student’s cognitive domains (UTSOMSA Admissions, 2011).
Lastly, the Medical School at the University of Michigan also implemented an opportunity for students to work in small groups with faculty members. The students are free to provide feedback about the curriculum and discuss possible changes (Michigan Medicine, 2015). This approach was adopted from the humanism learning theory in which students are free to choose their education activities. Thus, future curricula in medical schools may be based on both cognitivism and humanism learning theories.
Michigan Medicine. (2015). University of Michigan medical school: Our curriculum transformation [Video]. YouTube. Web.
UTSOMSA Admissions. (2011). UT School of Medicine at San Antonio [Video]. YouTube. Web.
Vanderbilt University. (2013). Vanderbilt University school of medicine curriculum 2.0 [Video]. YouTube. Web.