Great description on Richard Kennett’s blog of a lesson he’s undertaken demonstrating Galen’s famous pig dissection. To give you an idea here’s his list of props:
- A rubber pig toy – preferably with a squeeker
- A load of red cotton thread
- Some felt – assorted colours
- A pen knife
My only quibble is with Richard’s conclusion
“This lesson was silly and took tons of effort. I would never do this all the time, but it was fun to prove to myself that I can make a subject I had previously thought boring engaging and full of learning.”
I agree it was tons of effort and you can only do this sort of thing occasionally or you’ll burn out by the age of 32 but was it ‘silly’? It may have been fun but I think it was serious education.
I used to get this all the time, especially when I put on robes to play a historical character ‘Ian’s just having fun’ was typical, suggesting that lesson was light relief but not proper education.
I hated that attitude.
In my experience the most learning took place when students are enjoying a class – and enjoyment isn’t measured in laughter but in engagement.
So not ‘silly’ – I’d say absolutely vital.
As Richard also says:
‘Ending the lesson on an exam question (‘Explain why Galen was such an important doctor’) the students showed how much they had learnt which was tons – win.’
After that you must be tempted to read Richard’s description at:
Must find out where he got the toy pig!
(Update from Pat the Webmaster – Richard says he got it from Wilkos for less than £3)