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Bibile Oration

Teaching beyond knowledge and skills for the needs of the society


R.M. Mudiyanse

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Professor Senaka Bibile’s character has many virtues that doctors, medical students, other health professionals as well as administrators can learn from. Furthermore, he championed concepts that are currently accepted as benchmarks in medical education. Therefore, the Bibile memorial oration is an excellent platform to discuss concepts that would facilitate the training of many such doctors through new approaches in medical education.

If education is to have a significant impact in changing the lives of learners, it needs to embrace the depths of cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains (Blooms taxonomy) and expand the horizon of learning to include the complexity of human relationships, computer literacy and information technology. University teachers are challenged by the needs of the society as well as the needs of adult learners that they deal with Maslow’s hierarchy. The ever-expanding knowledge-base in medicine makes it impossible to learn or teach everything. Encompassing the paradigm of teaching in a wider spectrum of competencies along with patient-centered attitudes such as empathy would be an achievable but a difficult task. Therefore innovative curricular design, assessments and programme evaluations are vital for successful results. Integrating a spirally evolving communication curriculum could enhance professional development while building attitudes and empathy. Assessments should expand from assessment of recall knowledge to assessment of performing tasks and changing behavior (Miller’s pyramid).While focusing on the validity, reliability, objectivity and feasibility of assessment, value of educational impact and catalytic effect of assessment should be exploited for better educational outcomes. Evaluation of student’s perceptions and educational impact has revealed that they do not master and internalize the skills taught in the classroom. Patient Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS) is a self-reporting tool developed at the Harvard University to evaluate the patient-centered attitudes among students. This could be utilized to demonstrate the impact of our curriculum and other teaching programmes on learner’s attitudes. Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) is a self-reporting tool to assess empathy. A translation and validation of this tool will contribute to evaluate student’s empathy. As assessed by JSE, our students seem to deteriorate in their empathy during the second year and recover during clinical training but never recover to the level of empathy at the point of entrance to the course. Educational environment has a major impact on learning outcomes. Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) is a tool that can assess education environments in medical schools. A survey conducted using DREEM tool has high-lighted many strengths but has high-lighted further potential for improvement at the Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya (FoMP).  Students’ perception of teachers’ feedback has revealed a need for faculty development. Impact of the hidden curriculum on learners’ development is a well-known fact. A tool to evaluate hidden curriculum with regards to Culture Communication and Curriculum (C3) was used to assess and compare two medical faculties in Sri Lanka. According to student’s perception teachers in FoMP performed better with regard to professionalism. However workplace based assessment is the ultimate test and perhaps the Gold Standard of learning/teaching outcome and the indicator of the success of any education program.

How to Cite: Mudiyanse, R.M., 2017. Teaching beyond knowledge and skills for the needs of the society. Sri Lanka Journal of Medicine, 25(2), pp.16–30. DOI:
Published on 13 Feb 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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