Document Type: Commentary


1 Department of Basic Medical Sciences and Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Bisha, Bisha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2 Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Bisha, Bisha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


There has been a paradigm shift in the teaching strategies from
didactic or teacher-centered to more vibrant student centered
approaches. For the last five decades, small group teaching
(SGT) has been a hallmark of this reorientation of educational
strategies especially in medical schools, which use problem-based
learning as a core educational tool. The key strength of SGT is
the continuous and active participation by learners which fosters
lifelong learning skills. SGT has had a profound influence on
the motivation levels of students, self-confidence, self-directed
learning and fabric of teamwork. The role of the tutor as a facilitator
rather than knowledge provider is of paramount importance in
this process. However, there are challenges that ensue as a result
of heterogeneous teaching skills and attitudes of faculty members
from diverse backgrounds. Some of the tutors from traditional
backgrounds find it difficult to adjust to switching roles from a
conventional teacher to a facilitator and inadvertently defeat the
very philosophy of student-centered SGT. This article has been
composed with this background in mind and ten general basic and
practical guidelines are offered which are expected to be useful
for the successful transition from a traditional teacher to a SGT


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