Friday, 3 June 2011

my teaching tool kit

As I prepare to head to Kathmandu I have been reflecting on the differences between preparing to teach the UBC medical students and the PAHS students. They are both groups of smart students (that is a given) but there are some essential differences that will influence how and what I prepare. Number one the UBC med students all have at least one university degree already (often in the sciences) and they are on average 24+ years old. Many live on their own, some are married with young children.

The majority of PAHS students are starting medical school directly out of high school and are on average 17 or 18 years old. Particularly the students from rural areas will not be entering the program with a strong science background and English is not their first language. Most of the PAHS students will live at home with their parents.

For these reasons I will be balancing many things as I prepare to teach there. At UBC we teach the basic sciences couched within clinical cases. The pace of delivery is swift and builds exponentially as the weeks go by with each weeks topic building on the one before. At PAHS I will have to speak slower and more clearly so that will mean less content in any given session. There will be a need for more text on slides, which is something I rarely do in my lectures at UBC, where I use my slides for single images or graphs and talk the students through them. I will have to take into consideration that their scaffolding of science topics will be lighter than I am used to.

The PAHS students also come from a background (in high school) of a passive learning model (teacher speaks students write it down). My lecture style is much more interactive and relies on getting feedback from the students. I will have to work hard to establish a level of trust and safety that encourages their participation in discussions (in large and small groups).

So many things to think about as I "pack my teaching tool box" in advance of departing.

Oh and I get my Dukarol (anti diarrhea) booster tomorrow at the travel clinic....

CA didi

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