Thinking Skills for Medicine through Time - Creating Memory Frames
This is not a kinaesthetic activity in terms of physical movement but an activity promoting thinking skills. The notes and two accompanying exemplar Powerpoints are provided by Catherine McCrory who explains why the use of memory frames is helpful both to her students’ work and to constructing the Medicine through Time course.
Thinking or Memory Frames
As Catherine McCrory writes:
Using a one-page summary of the unit, students create memory frames in groups. These are shared at the end of the lesson and the best one or components are used as the class aid for the course.
It’s not about simplifying a text (although that is important).
It’s not about understanding vocabulary (although that is important).
It’s about taking a whole or half a unit of study (maybe you cover 13-14 units in a year) and condensing it into 7-10 key words that relate and connect into a thinking or memory frame. See the example PowerPoints – Hippo Crates1 and Hippo Crates2.
1. Students confuse content – who did what, when, time periods, events, causes Bulk of content overwhelming – heavy on factual knowledge
2. Students confuse what examiners want. Not rewarded with top grades A* - C for mastering this knowledge
3. Student demoralised by intensity of concentration required to access facts. Text is often pitched to the middle then differentiated down and extended up
Strip content right down to the bare bones and get a solid skeleton in students minds on which to:
- Add content details - students add flesh, muscles, etc. in line with their ability
- Feel confident about content so they focus on skills for the top grades
- Build morale - everyone accesses the most basic level which can serve as a common reference throughout the 2 years
Medicine through Time – Yr 10
- Middle Ages
- Jenner and vaccination 18thc.
- Fighting Disease 19thc. – Pasteur and Koch
- Public Health 19thc. – Cholera, Chadwick, Snow, Acts
- Surgery 19thc. – Anaesthetic, antiseptic, bleeding
- Fighting Disease 20thc. – Magic bullets, penicillin
- Public Health 20thc. – NHS
- Surgery 20thc. – Blood transfusions, Transplant, Keyhole, Microsurgery
- Women in medicine
First 5 weeks creating memory/thinking frames – one lesson per topic.
Go back and teach each in more detail, then use frames for revision – Yr 10 exams and for Yr 11 mock revision and for final exams. Overview is very useful and repetition aids memory.
A set of memory frames such as Hippo Crates don’t have to be complete to be useful. Ask students to see if the powerpoint Hippocrates1 covers all aspects of Hippocrates’s work – they might spot that exercise and diet could be added to represent treatments or methods of keeping healthy. Maybe herbal remedies should be added – so how would they add these in? See Hippocrates2 powerpoint . Maybe a Hippo dancing while clutching a bunch of bananas? A Hippo with a bunch of flowers or herbs? So you could start students with semi-complete ideas and build up to them producing their own complete frames. Much of the value lies in the collaborative thinking, spotting omissions and misunderstandings and stretching each other.