Singh V, Kharb P. A paradigm shift from teaching to learning gross anatomy: meta-analysis of implications for instructional methods. Journal of the Anatomical Society of India.2013;62:1–6


Anatomy teaching in terms of content and methodology has undergone major changes in therecent times due to time constraints, scarcity of cadavers, rapid advances in informationtechnology, and changes in the demands of the medical profession. Moreover, there has been amajor paradigm shift in medical education from passive, didactic, and teacher-centered approachto active, clinical-based, and student-centered approach. The debate on how to teach anatomy inthe most effective way continues, and there is not yet a workable solution to integrate the twolines of thought (teacher-centered/student-centered) that can resolve the dispute between thetwo approaches. The present article therefore meta-analyses the role and effectiveness of variousinstructional modalities in teaching and learning anatomy in the context of the shifting paradigmfrom teaching to learning. The available literature on the use of various instructional strategiesemployed for teaching–learning anatomy suggests that the challenge should not be to determinesuperiority of one methodology over another but to capitalize on the learning benefits offered bythe different methods. Learners should be provided opportunity to use multiple resources, thusfavoring flexibility in the acquisition of knowledge. Proper amalgamation of traditional teachingmethodologies such as lectures and dissection and the newer instructional methods, namelyproblem-based learning and computer-aided learning, would help to catalyze the shift frompedagogy to andragogy, where educators no longer serve chiefly as the dispensers of the subjectcontent, but act as facilitators of learning and evaluators of competency. The net result should beto produce lifelong learners committed to continuous improvement of skills and knowledge.