Active Learning on www.thinkinghistory.co.uk

Historical Speed-Dating: Medicine and Health through Time

Introduction

Looking for a new way to revise for Medicine through Time? This activity might well win a place in your affections. It was devised by Geoff Lyon who teaches in Ormskirk. It’s fast-paced, fun and designed to get students thinking as well as reinforcing their recall and understanding.

Top of the page

Support

A formatted version of this activity should print from your browser (omitting this support section).

A WORD version of this activity can be downloaded (note it’s quite a large file, having 30 resources sheets in it) and the debriefing PowerPoint:

  • For the Activity file with full set of date & treatment sheets [ click here ]
  • For the debriefing PowerPoint [ click here ]

This activity does not conform to any of the models listed in the 'Activities by Model' section so it's included in a miscellaneous group. For other miscellaneous activities click here.

Objectives

Here’s Geoff’s description.

Conventional ‘speed-dating’ is (so I am told!) where say 30 individuals (usually each with a ‘GSOH’) go round say 15 desks chatting to/up other participants with a view to finding out who would be a promising ‘match’ (an issue to be investigated further by mutual consent on a ‘date’). The speed in ‘speed-dating’ comes from the strict, short time-limit each combination of two participants is allowed with each other in the initial exercise. The dates in our case come from the subject-matter of our Study in Development on Medicine through Time. The objectives of the activity are to revise and reinforce key facts and concepts from the MHT Study in Development by means of a fast-paced (but with time for reflection), fun activity involving discussion.

Setting Up

You need a one-hour lesson, but debriefing can run and run if you let it.

This description assumes a class of 30 pupils, so scale down by judicious withdrawal of the sheets below if appropriate. (Be sure to take out ones that match!)

The ‘Date’ sheets [below] give a date in History and include information about the MHT Factors at that time. (For the Factors I use the mnemonic ‘STIR WG and CCC’ - Science, Technology, Individuals, Religion, War, Government, Conservatism, Communications, Chance – but tweak to your own liking.)

The ‘Treatment’ sheets give information about a particular treatment at an unidentified point in the past.

Each sheet has a scoring record for pupils to keep and make brief notes as they go along – useful for the debriefing.

A classroom MHT timeline (preferably scaled) can be useful for the debriefing.

We are concerned with match-making, but provision of chocolates and romantic mood-music is entirely optional!

You will find the instructions set out on the attached PowerPoint.

The Activity

Half the class have the ‘Date’ sheets and remain seated at the 15 (for a class of 30) desks. A card with a number on each desk helps. The other half of the class have the ‘Treatment’ sheets and go round each of the seated ‘Dates’ in turn.

Each pair of pupils has one minute to share information orally (they are not allowed to swap or show sheets) and decide how well Date and Treatment match. They have to agree on and write down a score out of ten, where 10/10 is a perfect match, 5/10 is possible match with some things to link them, 0/10 is nothing in common at all, and so on – with brief reasons. (Not all the matches are ‘obvious’ – we want to make the pupils think. As in life (?!) there are puzzles and sometimes more than one possible ‘correct’ match!)

Debriefing

The starting point for the Debriefing is asking the ‘Treatments’ in turn who their best Match is and why. They can go and sit with their Match once it is agreed they are the best match.

The teacher’s role is to find out and develop the knowledge and reasoning of the students, bringing out the main issues involved in the Study in Development:

  • What happened when, and why?
  • Why was there change or continuity at a particular time?
  • What factors were important in promoting or delaying change?

Best Matches

The suggested best matches (with alternatives) are:

[the symbols indicate there’s more than one Date sheet with the same date]

1

3000 BC

O=

Spiritual Cure (Medicine Man)

2@

1900 AD

M

Aspirin Tablets

3+

1600 AD

A

War Wound Foot (Pare)

4@

1900 AD

J

War Wound Hand

5*

c.200 AD

H

Excellent Public Health System

6

c.400 BC

G

‘Miraculous’ cure (Asclepion)

7*

c 200 AD

K

Humours & Opposites (Galen Rome)

8

1347 AD

D

Plague – Whipping etc (Medieval)

9

c.2000 BC

C

Chanting Herbs(Priest Physician)

10

1400 AD

N

Humours/Planets (Galen Medieval

11

1950 AD

F

Penicillin

12

c.500 AD

B

Epilepsy Cure (Dark Ages)

13+

1600 AD

E

Bezoar Stone

14

1665 AD

I

Plague – chicken cure

15@

1900 AD

L=

Spiritual Cure (1900 Aborigine!)

 

Possible Debriefing Points

The PowerPoint takes the Treatments first in the debriefing, finding Dates to match. With comments, these are:

A

War Wound Foot (Pare)

3+ or 13+

1600 AD

Cf. Pare. Patient still dies – why?

B

Epilepsy Cure (Dark Ages)

12

c.500 AD

Actually from Dark Ages, but why is it difficult to date? Why did supernatural last so long?

C

Chanting & herbs

9

c.2000 BC

‘Channels’ the clue. Cf Egyptian priest-physicians. Name an Egyptian god or doctor

D

Plague & whipping

8

1347 AD

Cf. I. Whipping is clue to date. Proper term? Why did healer ask patient to go away at once?

E

Bezoar stone

13+ or 3+

1600 AD

Cf. Pare (died 1590) but proved stone no cure-all for poisons. Use of Bezoar lasted (cf. Charles II). Why? Note rich person going to doctor.

F

Penicillin

11

1950 AD

What sort of drug is it? Why 1950?

G

Miraculous cure

6

c.400 BC

Who was the god? Where the temple? Why did such treatments work? How do we know? What would his friends think when they heard his story?

H

Excellent Pub.H. system

5* or 7*

c.200 AD

Why is this ‘treatment’ the odd one out? What is the importance of prevention rather than cure in MHT? Why were the Romans and Victorians so bothered about Pub.H?

I

Plague – chicken cure

14

1665 AD

Was this equally plausible for Middle Ages? Why no progress despite Renaissance?

J

War wound to hand

4@ or 2@ or 15@

1900 AD

When did they have machine-guns? Cf5. Why did the patient survive? Why surgical development then?

K

Humours & Opposites

7* or 5*

c 200 AD

Cf.Galen & use of opposites. Why the difficulty of dating this one? Bleeding practised until when? Why 4 humours last so long?

L

Spiritual cure

15@ or 4@ or 2@

1900 AD

A real conundrum! 1900 AD aboriginal society still prehistoric. The value of such evidence? Not every thing develops at same time, cf. invention of writing at different places at different times.

M

Aspirin tablets

2@ or 4@ or 15@

1900 AD

When did we have aspirins...Boots...women doctors? Why then?

N

Humours, planets, opposites

10

1400 AD

Cf. K. Planets the difference. When were they important?

O

Spiritual cure

1

3000 BC

An easy one to finish with – or to use as an example in introducing the task, if you have fewer than 30 pupils.

Reflections

  1. Did students enjoy the nature of the activity and what impact did this have on their learning?
  2. What was the impact of this activity on understanding of changes and continuities within the period and students’ abilities to make comparisons?
  3. Could you use this technique at the end of KS3 to provide an overview of people and events?

Resources

An example of a 'DATE' sheet and a 'TREATMENT' sheet is included here. The full set of sheets is included in the WORD file.

Example ‘DATE SHEET ’ (1 of 15)

DATE SHEET 1 - circa 3000 BC

S/T - Very primitive. Stone tools.

I - None we know of by name.

R - Very religious. Strong belief in the supernatural.

W - No specific information available.

G - No specific information available.

Cons - It seems that any change was very slow indeed.

Comm - By word of mouth – ‘oral tradition’.

Cha - Chance discoveries of simple remedies that worked.

MATCH RATINGS & NOTES REGARDING REASONS:

TREATMENT A:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT B:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT C:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT D:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT E:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT F:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT G:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT H:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT I:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT J:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT K:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT L:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT M:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT N:

/10

Reasons:

TREATMENT O:

/10

Reasons:

Example ‘TREATMENT SHEET ’ (1 of 15)

TREATMENT SHEET O - Spiritual Cure

An ill person comes to a healer in pain. The person lies down and the healer begins to chant. The person falls into a trance and the healer bends over the sick person, massages the sore part of the body and successfully brings the evil spirit out of the body. The patient wakes from the trance, is told the spirit has gone, and soon feels better and recovers completely.

MATCH RATINGS & NOTES REGARDING REASONS:

DATE 1:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 2:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 3:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 4:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 5:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 6:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 7:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 8:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 9:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 10:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 11:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 12:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 13:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 14:

/10

Reasons:

DATE 15:

/10

Reasons:

PowerPoint

Don't forget to download the PowerPoint.

Top of the page

Feedback

Constructive feedback is always welcome, particularly anything that will help other teachers.

Top of the page

This Page

Introduction

Support

Objectives

Setting Up

The Activity

Debriefing

Reflections

Resources

Feedback