Posted by: Esther Groves, Sr. Consultant for TBD Consulting
I don’t dwell much on medical procedures unless someone close to me or I need one. But, given my baby-boomer odds, I expect to need more of them as time goes on. A friend in the medical field got my attention the other day by lamenting about the lack of hands-on, patient-facing training and experience for new medical students.
Put those two thoughts together and it adds up to one thing for me: Scary.
For those of us in the training and development field, adult learning principles amount to a sort of religion - so imagine my excitement when I heard this piece on NPR: Don't Lecture Me that spotlights, among other things, a new school at University of Minnesota Rochester which is attached at the hip with the Mayo Clinic there. Their bottom line? Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle said, “What we decided here is that we're going to build an institution that's focused on learning. We want them to learn through understanding not to memorize to learn.”
UMR is also helping students make connections among fields of study. Chancellor Lehmkuhle:
“One of the most effective ways to get them motivated is to help them connect to what they're learning. And making connections isn't just about getting students motivated, it actually helps their brains learn, better. When you read about learning and the neuroscience or cognitive science of learning, it's all about making connections. And so that was really the basis for everything that we did here is to help students make connections. “
Their approach? Less lecture, more hands-on and collaboration -- learn how to learn so when they leave school, students can keep up with the times which we know “are a-changin’” at an ever-accelerating pace. And, foster collaboration among disciplines (chemistry, literature, biology) for a holistic approach.
So, back to my point... This is no longer a philosophical argument about how to best prepare students for the real world of patient care. We already know that people learn and remember best when they actively participate, practice and connect the dots. It’s time for lecture (which dates from the times before book publishing) to take a back seat to patient-centric, collaborative learning and teaching.
Thank you University of Minnesota Rochester and Mayo Clinic for leading the way!
FYI: It’s no coincidence the best-selling book ever published by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is Telling Ain’t Training by Harold Stolovitch, a guy who know effective training when he sees it.