Instructional methods

John H. Shatzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This chapter addresses one of the goals of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 'Preparing Physicians for the Future: Program in Medical Education' grants: to introduce new methods of instructions along with curricular revisions. Methods of instruction emphasize 'how to teach,' in contrast to the curricular reform's 'what to teach'. The author explores the various ways in which the eight participating schools adopted new instructional methods. The author first sets out the conditions for effective learning, as expressed in earlier research in cognitive psychology. He then reviews the issues in new instructional methods: problem-based learning, small-group learning, self-directed learning, and instructional methods in the service of integration, as well as learning in outpatient settings and computer-based learning. The author concludes, among other things, that schools must respect the variety of ways in which students learn, that some faculty will have to become skilled in unfamiliar teaching methods, that new instructional methods should be based on empirical evidence of effectiveness, and that sometimes method may be less important than the skill and enthusiasm of the teacher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number9 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Education

Cite this

Shatzer, J. H. (1998). Instructional methods. Academic Medicine, 73(9 SUPPL.).