eMedinewS Editorial

Medicine, Social Health Community 14 Comments

Teaching in Medical Schools in India: effectiveness of lecture basesd learning

The best prescription of how to teach comes from ancient Indian Shastra where Saraswati has been shown as the mother of education. She is shown wearing a white Sari, sitting on a swan with four hands, one hand containing small Vedic book, the second a rosary and in the other two with a large Veena.

The basic meaning is that to be a good teacher, you need to be like a mother who concentrates more on the weaker child than on the one who is stronger and intelligent. The white sari depicts teaching based on truthfulness and facts and not on myths and fears. Sitting on a swan indicates teaching the power of discrimination to the students, i.e. differentiating between good and bad and swan has the power to do. A swan can suck milk from milk-water solution. 

Small Vedic book in one hand indicates that reading books are important but alone not sufficient to gain knowledge. Small rosary in one hand also indicates that one need to read a subject repeatedly but that can not be the main tool. The main tool, as depicted in Ma Saraswati is the two hands with a large Veena representing practice or Abhyas. In Bhagwad Geeta also, Krishna describes the characteristics of a good teacher and a good student. The same can be summarized as ‘to hear’, “to understand’, ‘to know’ and ‘to do’. The most important of them is ‘to do’. Even a recent US research has shown that attending lectures are only 5% effective; reading is 10% effective and the audio-visual teaching is 20% effective. The main tools in teaching are demonstrations (30%), group discussions (50%) and practice by doing (75%). The whole Western teaching nowadays in every discipline is based on practical and group discussions.

emedinews Editorial by Dr k k Aggarwal

Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief