LEARNING THEORIES IN MEDICAL SCHOOLS
Learning theories are conceptual frameworks that describe how information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning. Cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how understanding, or a world view, is acquired or changed, and knowledge and skills retained. Generally, there are 4 types of learning theories available and some of them had been applied in our medical curriculum in Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, in any universities. Behaviorism learning theory is the acquisition of a new behavior through conditioning. The learning process is viewed as a change in behavior, and will arrange the environment to elicit desired responses through behavioral objectives, competency-based learning, and skill development and training. This theory is also known as a stimulus-response model whereby the environment is seen as providing stimuli to which individuals develop responses. The stimuli can either be a reward or a punishment. Generally, the learners in this learning are passive. Thus, this learning is better when the learner is active rather than passive and some important notions such as repetition, generalization and discrimination are incorporated. This learning is helped when objectives are clear. Those who look to behaviourism in teaching will generally frame their activities by behavioural objectives e.g. ‘by the end of this session participants will be able to…’. With this comes a concern with competencies and product approaches to curriculum (also known as Outcome-Based Education). In medical schools, most of the students that entered first year courses have no idea or still new with medical jargons and clinical procedures. After attending many lectures and laboratory practicals, most of them have showed some positive behavioral changes. Some educational approaches consist of this learning theory such as applied behavior analysis...
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