PhD Scholarship available

Project: Core concepts in pharmacology education – effective ways to teach core concepts

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Education, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science

Are you interested in the combination of science, teaching and learning? Do you have a background in science education?

This project is part of an international project led by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University and endorsed by the International Union of Pharmacologists. The project aims to identify the core concepts of pharmacology and other pharmaceutical science disciplines that all students should attain before they graduate. The explosion of knowledge in pharmaceutical sciences has made the task of choosing what to learn almost impossible for students and for educators. An international team with leaders from Australia, the USA, United Kingdom, Africa and South America are working to identify those big ideas that are challenging and critical for students to understand and apply 3-5 years after they graduate.

We now have a list of core concepts of pharmacology education. The project will focus on how educators around the world connect their pedagogy with each of the core concepts we have identified, to support student learning, i.e., their pedagogical content knowledge.

The project will address a number of key research questions that will be critical to answer to help educators actually use the core concepts and for students to learn and understand them.

The final PhD project will evolve over time, but will include some of the following questions:

Are students currently being taught the core concepts, and if so, how?

  • This will be answered by mapping of educator approaches to the core concepts – working with an international team to systematically determine the current state of teaching, applying and assessing each core concept of pharmacology education.

What are the most effective ways to teach core concepts to support student understanding?

  • This will be answered using a systematic review of the literature and some controlled studies using a number of potential best practice approaches

The project will involve surveys, focus group work and related qualitative data analysis, and evaluation of teaching and learning activities. The project will provide a student with the skills and experience to move into a career as an education focused academic or educational designer.

The project will provide the successful candidate with a $35,000 annual stipend.

For information and enquiries, please contact Professor Paul White, paul.white@monash.edu

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