Diagnosis for Classroom Success: Making Anatomy and Physiology Come Alive

Diagnosis for Classroom SuccessI was intrigued with the concept of Diagnosis for Classroom Success as soon as I heard about it. Author Nicole Maller wanted to make the most of her face-to-face time with her students, so she combined elements of storytelling and role-playing to teach her high school students Anatomy and Physiology.

Students in her classroom have to attend medical school, completing vital research to graduate. Then they sign the Hippocratic oath, learning the role that ethics play in medicine. On their first day on the job, they have to collaborate with colleagues to treat four celebrity patients. Using their medical school knowledge, they have to consider the patients’ risk factors and symptoms and develop an initial hypothesis. The student-doctors will face conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, pregnancy, HIV, and diabetes.

To diagnose their patients, the doctors will conduct six labs:

  • Urinalysis
  • Digestive By-Product and BMI Analysis
  • Blood Smears (Read a sample chapter.)
  • HIV Test
  • Lung Capacity
  • Hormone Test

Once the team of student-doctors reaches a consensus, the medical chart must be completed for each patient. Then all student-doctors will develop a written, visual, and/or oral report; they will be evaluated on their ability to collect and analyze evidence; making connections between the biology content and the various labs used to diagnose the patients; and on their understanding of the topics discussed.

Finally, the student-doctors receive feedback from their evaluators who will determine whether or not doctors may continue practicing medicine or are at risk of losing their licenses.

It’s been many years since I studied anatomy in  high school, but reading this book made me want to take this class! The student edition outlines the tasks and provides students with the charts, medical records, and data tables needed to complete them. The teacher edition (which includes the Student Edition) provides research on the value of using narrative and role-playing in instruction; how the unit will align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS); how to properly prep for the unit; and the role of the teacher in each lab. Read a sample chapter from the Teacher Edition.

As you spend time this summer planning next year’s lessons, consider this innovative approach to make your students sit up and take notice.

NSTA offers this book as a print and e-book bundle or as an e-book alone.

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One Comment

  1. Vicki schoch
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I am curious as to the age level appropriateness of this course. Our school is using the guide as I cannot fathom why general science students at a grade 11 level should be diagnosing anything. University students do this after many hours of mentored study.

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