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December 15, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(16):1448-1450. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970330020005

• Twelve medical faculty members, with the conviction that medical education can be improved, undertook an investigative analysis of fundamental educational principles. In 20 hours of relatively unstructured discussion, using a chairman trained in sociology and anthropology and the dynamics of learning, there resulted a broadened understanding of and change in attitude toward the teaching processes being practiced. A few of the conclusions arrived at revealed that teachers may be major obstacles to student learning; that people learn what they want to learn; and that learning is largely an emotional experience. The student must be helped in wanting to learn rather than just to know.

The results of this preliminary study, while giving certain participants a new self-awareness along with a new sensitivity to student needs, have made teaching far more difficult than before but have provided a personal satisfaction not previously known.