The dialectic between learning and teaching in a medical school.
Academic Support Programmes in South Africa are confronted with the seemingly impossible task of producing "programmes" which will assist growing numbers of Black students in their adaptation to the academic tasks. These tasks are demanded of Black students within tertiary institutions with a largely westernized cultural form of education. Despite the existence of institutions such as the Medical School of the University of Natal which has been training Black medical students for over thirty five years, little substantive research has been conducted into the processes of adaptation which Black students have undergone in coming to terms with the cognitive demands of academic tasks within universities. Instead, institutions such as the Medical School have found themselves embroiled in long ,standing controversies which essentially attempt to apportion blame for high failure rates on either students or staff members. This research adopts a dialectical approach to the learning teaching situations and focuses specifically on Black medical students' adaptation to the cognitive task demands of Physiology. The research uses a rational reconstructive paradigm to instantiate Feuerstein's "deficient cognitive functions" in the cognitive manifestations of second year medical students. This instantiation lays the groundwork for an investigation into the "content less cognitive processes" (cf. Feuerstein) underlying the learning-teaching dialectic in Physiology.