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An educator’s perspective
There is a good educational case for a UK advanced trauma course. The theoretical basis for the educational component of the ATLS instructor course is rarely made explicit and in my experience, never discussed, either among the educationalists or the clinical faculty. In UK practice there is an implied theoretical perspective within the ATLS course that is not subscribed to. In this article I aim to explore this theoretical basis and contrast it with what actually happens in instructor and provider courses in the UK. In doing so the educational justification for a UK based advanced trauma course will be discussed.
THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF ATLS
Despite nods in the direction of “adult education”1 and “reflective practice”,2 much of the thinking behind section III chapter 2 of the ATLS instructor course manual3 is based on the behaviourist/instructional design educational theories of Gagné.4 This, however, is not made explicit other than in this definition of learning:
“learning is a relatively permanent change in behaviour that comes about as a result …