March is Women's History Month and as you consider ways to celebrate the role of women in the human sciences, why not start in your textbook? The Human Body in Health & Disease has several descriptions of the contributions of women who have made ...

 

[H&D] Celebrating Women's History Month in The Human Body in Health & Disease and more...

Celebrating Women's History Month in The Human Body in Health & Disease

March is Women's History Month and as you consider ways to celebrate the role of women in the human sciences, why not start in your textbook?

The Human Body in Health & Disease has several descriptions of the contributions of women who have made important contributions to understanding human structure and function.

Elaborating on these stories yourself  is one way to celebrate Women's History Month. Another is to assign students to find more information about one or more of these women. Perhaps they could present this information to their class in the form of a blog or wiki entry, a poster or handout, or other creative media.

For example, the Growth & Development chapter includes a mention of Rita Levi-Montalcini's contributions to understanding the development of the nervous system.

In the Reproduction chapter, we recognize the role of Virginia Johnson in early attempts to understand human sexuality.

In the Chemistry chapter, we highlight the role of Rosalind Franklin in understanding the structure of DNA.

Why not start a conversation in your course today about the role of women in understanding the  the human body in health and disease?
 
 

African-American History Month in The Human Body in Health & Disease

If you are thinking about ways to celebrate the roles of African-Americans in scientific discoveries related to human biology as part of African-American History Month (also known as Black History Month), then you can start in your textbook.

The Human Body in Health & Disease has several built-in resources to jump-start a conversation.

For example, the Blood chapter includes a boxed sidebar that highlights the contributions of Charles Richard Drew to hematology—particularly in the establishment of blood banks.

In the Nutrition & Metabolism chapter, there's another boxed sidebar that mentions the role of George Washington Carver in the rise of food science. 

Just these two snippets can be a conversation starter in your course. Consider asking your students to contribute more—perhaps as a project or other assignment.

You might also want to check out Black History Month: Celebrating Blacks in Science, Promoting Diversity in STEM to stimulate some ideas for your course.
 
 

Active Concept Maps for Enhanced Student Learning

We all know that concept maps help students learn anatomy and physiology in at least two ways.

One way is when we use concept maps to teach principles in a visual manner that clearly shows relationships among several ideas. Students thus clearly see how to organize their thoughts about connected ideas as they construct their own conceptual frameworks as they learn.

Another way concept maps help students learn is when they build their own concept maps from what they already know about anatomy and physiology. Concept-map-making can thus be a powerful study tool. However, students without prior experience with concept maps often have a difficult time getting started. A few good examples of concept maps that relate to the ideas they are learning in your course are all they need to get a good start in making their own.

Starting with this edition of The Human Body in Health & Disease we are providing Active Concept Maps in the Student Resources in Evolve

Each Active Concept Map is an animated video of a concept map presented in a similar style to the concept maps used throughout the text of The Human Body in Health & Disease. However, these concept maps are "active" in the sense that they build from a single block as the narrator walks the viewer through each related concept that appears as the concept map branches and grows.

The block-by-block guided walk-through of a major concept will help students understand what they have read and heard in class more deeply. It will also model for students how they can build their own concept maps for other sets of related ideas that they encounter in your course.

Perhaps most importantly, the Active Concept Maps will provide a template for how to think in a "connected" way about the major concepts of the anatomy and physiology course. For challenged students, this is an especially important skill they must develop to succeed.

Here's a brief video walk-through that shows where to find Active Concept Maps in Evolve and how they work:

 
 

Embedded Hints Improve Learning

Can we assume that our students come to us already knowing how to read a book? Probably. 

Can we assume that they know how to effectively read and use a textbook? Probably not.

Really? you may wonder. What's special about reading a textbook?

Technically detailed textbooks such as science textbooks are not much like books of popular literature. One cannot just sit down and read a chapter of a health science textbook from start to finish—like you would with a novel—and expect to have learned much. And whatever you did comprehend would probably disappear from your brain by day's end.

No, college reading experts tell us that students must use reading strategies to comprehend what they read in a textbook. But I see that my students come to me without any such strategies or skills. They've gotten by without them until they hit their anatomy and physiology textbook, then wonder why the textbook doesn't seem to be helping them much. Then they limp along on class notes only—missing out on the deeper learning possible with the complementary material in the textbook.

I was an excellent reader when I was an undergraduate. Looking back, however, I realize that I didn't use any special strategies—and I didn't really get a whole lot out of my hours of textbook reading. Not compared to what happens now when I do technical reading employing some of the proven strategies to increase my reading comprehension of technical scientific works.

So what to do? Spend a week teaching our students how to read their textbooks? After getting some training ourselves in college reading strategies?

I've provided a better option in The Human Body in Health & Disease,

To guide students step by step through an effective reading strategy, I've embedded a series of hints that tell students exactly what to do to learn from their textbooks more effectively—and by spending less total study time.

Some of these strategies I've discussed here in previous posts. For example, I've already walked you through the word-study approach to reading vocabulary.

Take a look at any chapter in The Human Body in Health & Disease, to see the embedded hints clearly marked with the Hint icon. If you don't have a copy, just go to this link and request a free review copy now!

Then let's help our students by advising them to follow the directions in the hints to get the most out of their health science textbooks—and reduce their total study time!

Adapted from Anatomy & Physiology
 
 

Help Students Master the Language of Science & Medicine

You can't really learn and experience what's going on in your world until you can use the language. In a beginning  course, most students don't come in as native speakers of scientific and medical terminology.

Even if they know what roots, suffixes, and prefixes are, most of them don't know the literal meanings of "meta," "juxta," "reno," or "cyto." If they pick up these word parts as they learn, however, they can quickly get comfortable with the language of science and medicine—and really ramp up their learning of core concepts.

In The Human Body in Health & Disease, we have woven language learning into every chapter so that students can more efficiently master the language of science and medicine.

Nearly every anatomy and physiology and patho teacher I know mentions word parts frequently in class discussions—especially when introducing the more convoluted terms that represent important concepts.

Besides breaking down impossibly long words into easily consumed, bite-sized pieces, it's also a stealthy strategy to "sneak in" some language learning. Without having to "put it on the test" we can introduce word parts— and how they are used to construct phrase-like terms—in a way that allows natural language learning. Students often don't even realize that our repeated mentioning of the meaning of common word parts is adding to their mental lexicon. Soon they start recognizing these word parts on their own.

When students know what common word parts mean, they start using them as mnemonic tools (memory aids). They find themselves using the word parts as clues to remember the actual working definition of the term—and the essence of the concept that the term represents.

In The Human Body in Health & Disease, we support this widely used classroom approach in several ways. A central strategy is our inclusion of word parts in the chapter word lists.

Previewing unfamiliar words before reading a chapter helps to get those words into the reader's mental lexicon more quickly—and how that, in turn, improves reading comprehension. Because we also include word parts in the chapter word lists, scanning these lists naturally builds competence in scientific and clinical language.

A widespread and effective strategy in teaching reading skills—from elementary school to advanced courses in college reading efficiency—is often called word study. In a nutshell, word-study instruction encourages readers to strengthen their recognition of word patterns as first step, rather than simply memorizing new words as they encounter them. This is based on the fact that we read words and phrases as a whole. It's one of many brain-based strategies of learning that translate current concepts of neuroscience into practical strategies.

Incorporating word parts in the chapter word list, where they can be scanned before reading the chapter, offers the opportunity for readers of The Human Body in Health & Disease to make the word study method part of their overall reading strategy. By building pattern-recognition skills, readers can better get new terms into their mental lexicon and thus be able to read them without stumbling and thus learn concepts more efficiently.

But wait! There's more! In The Human Body in Health & Diseasewe provide even more built-in tools to help students gain skill in using their new language. In an upcoming post, I'll point these out.


Article content adapted from Anatomy & Physiology

 
 
 

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