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ERIC Number: EJ935521
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
The Case of Thyroid Hormones: How to Learn Physiology by Solving a Detective Case
Lellis-Santos, Camilo; Giannocco, Gisele; Nunes, Maria Tereza
Advances in Physiology Education, v35 n2 p219-226 Jun 2011
Thyroid diseases are prevalent among endocrine disorders, and careful evaluation of patients' symptoms is a very important part in their diagnosis. Developing new pedagogical strategies, such as problem-based learning (PBL), is extremely important to stimulate and encourage medical and biomedical students to learn thyroid physiology and identify the signs and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. The present study aimed to create a new pedagogical approach to build deep knowledge about hypo-/hyperthyroidism by proposing a hands-on activity based on a detective case, using alternative materials in place of laboratory animals. After receiving a description of a criminal story involving changes in thyroid hormone economy, students collected data from clues, such as body weight, mesenteric vascularization, visceral fat, heart and thyroid size, heart rate, and thyroid-stimulating hormone serum concentration to solve the case. Nevertheless, there was one missing clue for each panel of data. Four different materials were proposed to perform the same practical lesson. Animals, pictures, small stuffed toy rats, and illustrations were all effective to promote learning, and the detective case context was considered by students as inviting and stimulating. The activity can be easily performed independently of the institution's purchasing power. The practical lesson stimulated the scientific method of data collection and organization, discussion, and review of thyroid hormone actions to solve the case. Hence, this activity provides a new strategy and alternative materials to teach without animal euthanization. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.)
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A