Public Schools Improve Scoring in the “Difficult to Teach” Sciences
of Anatomy and Physiology
a wide- open healthcare field prods a growing number of students
to seek careers in the industry, educators are finding more effective
tools and techniques to teach a traditionally difficult subject.
With the proliferation of magnet schools, strict testing standards
and omnipresent budgetary concerns, finding new ways to improve
student performance without breaking the bank has become imperative
for educators and administrators. Unfortunately, finding new solutions—through
improved teaching techniques, systems, or tools—is often easier
said than done.
However, schools throughout the state of Texas have discovered
a way to increase student performance in the normally “difficult-to-teach”
subjects of anatomy and physiology in the form of a new kinesthetic
teaching system. Championed by the Texas Health Science Technology
Education group (HSTE), over 130 schools in Texas currently utilize
this system and the resulting educational benefits and learning
improvement are being widely praised by administrators, teachers
and students alike.
For as long as anyone can remember, the physical sciences of anatomy
and physiology have been taught by utilizing a learning system
that was developed more than 140 years ago based on a two-dimensional,
“dissect the parts from the whole” approach that is supposed to
teach students about the complex, interactive, three-dimensional
system that is the human body. For some teachers, this method
of teaching was insufficient because it relied on the process
of rote memorization to define the numerous parts of the body,
which is difficult for even the best students. With accountability
for pupil performance and antiquated educational techniques hampering
teacher’s efforts, generating enthusiasm or teaching students
how the information is relevant to their own bodies was a losing
Discovering a better way to teach anatomy was just the first step.
Teachers utilize a system of atlases, models, and detailed illustrations
that cover how these body parts are related, with detailed information
on muscles and bones and their relationship. Ewan noticed an immediate
change in the student’s enthusiasm and in test results.
the first class we used it on, even without formal instruction,
I already saw the students grasping concepts that they just couldn’t
get before,” says Ewan.#
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