See one, do one, teach one––exploring the core teaching beliefs of medical school faculty
This paper explores the core teaching beliefs of medical school faculty and establishes whether these beliefs differ among basic science, clinical, and instruction specialist faculty. One hundred and twenty-five medical school teachers who were members of professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of medical school teaching completed a Q-sort of 56 statements reflecting their core teaching beliefs. The statements described beliefs about motivation, knowledge and skill acquisition, retention, feedback, transfer, teacher characteristics, and teaching strategies. Q-sorts were completed by 37 basic scientists (30% of respondents), 59 clinicians (47%) and 29 instruction specialists (23%) working in medical schools. Fifty-two participants were classroom teachers (42%), 66 were classroom and clinical teachers (53%), and seven reported that they do not teach (6%). The Q-sort results indicate how medical school faculty members differ in their core beliefs about teaching and learning. Thirty-two respondents (26%) focused on the student as a person first. Eight (6%) were content oriented. Thirty-four (27%) were performance oriented; their focus was on having students learn and apply knowledge and skills to accomplish clinical tasks. Fifty-one respondents (41%) were found to have a blend of these viewpoints. Respondents? type of training or type of teaching did not provide a reliable indication of core teaching beliefs classification.