Teaching Developmental Biology in Brasil

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1 Teaching Developmental in Brasil Luiz Violin Universidade Estadual de Campinas

2 Different Approaches to Teaching Developmental Luis Antonio Violin Pereira Suzana Guimarães Moraes Department of Histology and Embryology Institute of State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) Campinas, Brazil

3 Institute of State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) Department of Histology and Embryology

4 WHY SHOULD WE STUDY AND TEACH DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY? The structural sequence of development of the body (morphogenesis) Evolutionary aspects Embryotechnology: stem cells, organ regeneration, assisted reproduction, cloning, fetal surgery Mechanisms of birth defects WHY IS THE TEACHING OF DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY SO DIFFICULT? Dramatic explosion of knowledge and complexity in developmental biology Developmental textbooks use static 2D images to illustrate development Developmental explores dynamic processes (4D) There are only a few incomplete animations on the market How much of developmental biology (new) vs. embryology (old) should be presented without overwhelming the students with details?

5 TOPIC 1 A Survey of the Disciplines Related to Developmental Offered in Undergraduate Courses of and Medicine in Brazil TOPIC 2 An Example of an Approach Used to Teach Human Embryology at UNICAMP

6 A Survey of the Disciplines Related to Developmental offered in Undergraduate Courses of and Medicine in Brazil Introduction Developmental, more than other disciplines, has had difficulty in finding a comfortable niche in the curricula of biology and medical undergraduate courses Objective The first goal was to determine the profiles of the disciplines related to developmental biology The second goal was to establish the minimum content for such disciplines in undergraduate courses of medicine and biology Sample and Design The electronic addresses of instructors involved in disciplines related to Developmental were obtained from a list maintained by the Brazilian Group of Developmental Instrument All participants received an electronic message with a login and password that provided a link to a website questionnaire that was to be answered by the coordinator of the corresponding discipline Data Analysis The mean values for the questions were expressed as a percentage of the total number of participants that answered the questionnaire. The comments on the open-ended questions were subjected to content analysis in which words, phrases and sentences were grouped in categories Results and Discussion

7 Participants in the Survey of Disciplines Related to Developmental in Undergraduate Courses of and Medicine in Brazil s sent 57 Replies 19 No replies 19 Returned - Wrong mail 19

8 Existence of Disciplines Related to Developmental in Undergraduate Courses of and Medicine in Brazil Medicine Embryology 9 1 Developmental Module (Embryology) (Optional) 6

9 Instructor s Level of Training in Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology PhD: 70% Post-Doc: 30% PhD: 72% Post-Doc: 14% MSc: 14% Developmental Post-doc: 100% Post-doc: 100%

10 Discipline Content for Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology General Comparative Embryology: 56% General Embryology: 44% Systematic Embryology: 22% General Human Embryology: 100% Systematic Human Embryology: 71% Developmental Classic Embryology and Developmental : 50% General Comparative Embryology: 25% Human Embryology: 25% Developmental : 100%

11 Number of Lectures in Disciplines Related to Developmental in Undergraduate Courses of and Medicine Medicine Embryology 63h (30 108) 68h (36 120) Developmental 65h (30 108) 30h Range in parentheses

12 Class Sizes in Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology 39 (20 50) 75 (40 110) Developmental 26 (33) 12 Range in parentheses

13 Semesters in which Disciplines Related to Developmental are offered Medicine Embryology 2 nd year: 60% 1 st year: 30% 3 rd year: 10% 1 st year: 72% 1 st - 2 nd year: 14% 1 st - 2 nd year: 14% Developmental 3 rd year: 75% 1 st year: 25% 2 nd 6 th : 100% (optional)

14 Prerequisites for Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology Developmental None: 44% Cell : 44% Histology: 33% Anatomy: 11% Biochemistry: 11% Genetics: 11% Molecular : 11% Ecology: 11% Evolution: 11% Invertebrate Zoology: 11% None: 25% Cell : 75% Molecular : 50% Embryology: 50% Genetics: 25% Vertebrate Zoology: 25% Histology: 25% Anatomy: 25% None: 57% Cell : 43% Histology: 29% Biochemistry: 14% Embryology: 100% Cell : 100% Histology: 100%

15 Textbooks Used in Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology Developmental Gilbert: 38% Moore: 38% Wolpert: 13% Houillon: 13% Carlson: 13% Langman: 13% Garcia: 13% None: 25% Wolpert: 50% Gilbert: 25% Moore: 25% Langman: 25% Moore: 43% Carlson: 29% Langman: 14% Larsen: 14% Wolpert: 100% Gilbert: 100% Larsen: 100% Moore: 100%

16 Practical Classes in Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology Developmental Yes: 90% No: 10% Yes: 75% No: 25% Yes: 100% Yes: 100%

17 Practical Activities in Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology Developmental Histological sections: 100% sea urchin, chicken, insect, fish, amphibian, reptile, human (normal and abnormal) Incubation of eggs, with monitoring of developmental stages using histological sections Total mounts Videos: 26% 3D Models: 13% Preparation and analysis of sea urchin, chicken, fish and other embryos macro and microscopic analysis Development of a practical research project Make styrofoam and plasticine models Analysis of 3D models and videos Histology of chicken, sea urchin and human embryos, fetuses and gonads Macroscopic analysis of human embryos, fetuses and placenta 3D models Painting drawings of embryos and fetuses Seminars Dialogue displays of malformations clinical cases Histology of chicken and human embryos Homeotic mutations in Drosophila

18 Main Difficulties Encountered in Practical Activities in Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology Insufficient permanent material for teaching Insufficient microscopes and laboratory facilities Insufficient number of movies and computers Large class size Insufficient permanent material for teaching Insufficient microscopes and laboratory facilities Insufficient number of movies and computers Large class size Students have difficulties in correlating 2D and 3D images Developmental Insufficient technical support and monitors to prepare material for practical classes Large class size No answer

19 CONCLUSION Suggestions and Comments for Disciplines Related to Developmental Medicine Embryology Developmental Difficult to correlate classic embryology and DB Too much content and limited number of lectures How to present DB in an attractive way? Few books of comparative embryology Embryology should be prerequisite to DB Definition of prerequisite for BD Difficult to use of computers and 3D models Classic embryology should be a prerequisite for BD Difficulties in establishing correlations between morphogenesis and the molecular mechanisms involved in development Should have clinical correlations Too few lectures More multidisciplinary approaches Systematic embryology must be taught Students have difficulties in accepting DB Students have difficulties in multidisciplinary thinking

20 TOPIC 1 A Survey of the Disciplines Related to Developmental Offered in Undergraduate Courses of and Medicine in Brazil TOPIC 2 An Example of an Approach Used to Teach Human Embryology at UNICAMP

21 An Example of an Approach Used to Teach Human Embryology at UNICAMP Introduction Embryology has a multidisciplinary approach and explores dynamic processes (4-D) that make it difficult to teach and learn Objective To use multimedia approaches to create new teaching material and ensure a strong integration among different areas Sample and Design The lectures in embryology covered 50 h that included general embryology (24 h) and embryology of the body systems (36 h). Part I (1.5 h): explanation of the development of the body s structures Part II (1.5 h): presentation of the clinical history and macro- and microscopic images of selected clinical cases; the students were encouraged to find and discuss the malformations and their diagnosis. Part III: the students were stimulated to attend an extra-class activity (software-based study) The data were obtained from 110 first-year medical students enrolled in 2004 Instrument At the end of the discipline, the teaching material and method were evaluated using questionnaires, interviews and exam questions Data Analysis The mean values for questions was expressed as percentage of participants that answered the questionnaire The comments on the open-ended questions were subjected to content analysis in which words, phrases and sentences were grouped in categories Results and Discussion

22

23 STUDENTS PERCEPTIONS - Questionnaire Media Softw are and monitoring 2,99 Material 3,85 Availability of material 2,53 Psychological aspects 3,57 Aplicability of this methodology in other teaching modules 3,70 Activities to be added Social aspects Aplicability of the methodology 3,20 3,45 3,67 Media Evaluation of the methodology 3,69 Evaluation of the course content 3,61 Evaluation of the contents 3,59 Presentation 3,14 Structural aspects 3,49 1,00 2,00 3,00 4,00

24 STUDENTS OPINIONS ABOUT THE DISCIPLINE OF EMBRYOLOGY - INTERVIEW The clinical cases highlight the importance of embryology The theory needs to be understood in order to understand the clinical cases The animations are essential for understanding human embryology It would be very good if other disciplines also used educational software Embryology is the only discipline to successfully integrate basic and clinical areas Braz J Morphol Sci (2004) 21(3),

25 Developmental (by Scott Gilbert) may be the first science textbook to have a website and an interactive guide (CD-ROM) The seventh edition of Developmental starts with a chapter on the medical implications of developmental biology

26 An Example of an Approach Used to Teach Human Embryology at UNICAMP CONCLUSION The student s responses demonstrate that the software is used extensively and is considered useful for learning human embryology and morphogenesis of birth defects We have noticed an increase in class participation, enhanced comprehension, and a new found enthusiasm for embryology Teaching human embryology in a multimedia and multidisciplinary approach proved useful for solving and important difficulty associated with teaching methods in many medical institutions, namely, the lack of integration between basic and clinical disciplines Could correlating normal and abnormal embryogenesis with developmental biology provide an ideal approach for teaching this subject?

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