Why Dissection?: Animal Use in Education

Overview

Why do students continue to dissect animals in biology classes? Why, despite the excellence of teaching resources for veterinary and human medical education that substitute for dissection, do those provided for pre-college students fall short in convenience, flexibility, and coordination with the curriculum? Why Dissection? Animal Use in Education looks beyond the typical yes-or-no debate about dissection to understand how we came to our current practice of dissection in intermediate and high school biology, even...

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Overview

Why do students continue to dissect animals in biology classes? Why, despite the excellence of teaching resources for veterinary and human medical education that substitute for dissection, do those provided for pre-college students fall short in convenience, flexibility, and coordination with the curriculum? Why Dissection? Animal Use in Education looks beyond the typical yes-or-no debate about dissection to understand how we came to our current practice of dissection in intermediate and high school biology, even as preparation of health professionals has moved away from dissection. Despite the many forces that support the continued use of dissection in pedagogy, teachers retain much autonomy in how they teach in the classroom, and legislation in many states provide specific requirements for what should and should not be taught in separated science and health curricula, offering students the option to not engage in dissection. Why Dissection? walks students, teachers, and parents through these options to help them make more informed choices regarding their science education options.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Why does animal dissection continue to be a hallmark of high school biology curricula when it fails to explicitly appear in most educational standards or frameworks? This controversial yet enduring facet of science classrooms is dealt with in a comprehensive and well-written new book which is grounded in a rich historical and philosophical context. Of particular interest are the sections that deal directly with national and state standards, and discuss the sometimes conflicting objectives of pre-college science education and the related areas of health and veterinary training. In subsequent chapters, teachers are offered resources which serve to empower them to consider viable alternatives to the practice. The diminishing educational benefits of dissection and the overall welfare of students are prevalent themes in this book. Hart, Wood and Hart note this topic is fraught with emotional arguments, and they adeptly manage to preserve professional and scholarly discourse while respecting the very personal nature of this topic. This book is best for all preservice and practicing biology teachers, curriculum coordinators, and those interested in policy and standards across science, veterinary, and health education. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and up."

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Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313323904
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

LYNETTE A. HART is professor in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

MARY W. WOOD is Librarian in Health Sciences at the Carlson Health Sciences Library, University of California, Davis.

BENJAMIN L. HART is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Behavior and Physiology in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Today's Biology Classroom Crisis     1
Early History of Dissection: Controversy and Advances     17
Controversy in the Development of Science Education and Dissection     35
The Context for Dissection: Educational Testing     53
National versus State Educational Standards: Whither Dissection?     71
Legislation and Regulations Related to Using Animals and Dissection in Teaching     93
Empowering Teachers to Find Substitutes for Dissection     111
Students and the Culture of Dissection     133
The Animals Used in Teaching     151
New Teaching Resources in the Computer Age     165
Locating Teaching Resources and Research Literature on Alternatives     183
References     199
Index     217
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    Fascinating and Informative Account of Dissection

    Why Dissection? is a tremendous resource for instructors and is likely to be of interest to the general public as well. The authors examine the practice of dissection from a variety of perspectives 'students, parents, instructors, administrators, animal advocates, etc.' and somehow manage to do justice to all of them. Tracing the history of dissection, the authors explain how we have come to find ourselves in the seemingly paradoxical situation where dissection has largely been phased out of the education of surgeons, veterinarians, and others requiring advanced formal education but is still prominent in precollege and undergraduate education. They explain why, despite a wealth of alternatives that studies have shown to be as effective or superior to traditional dissection, the practice of dissection persists. Perhaps most useful is that the authors acknowledge the difficulties instructors often face in their efforts to plan motivating lessons that inspire students. They offer a wide variety of resources so that transitioning away from the use of dissection will be as easy as possible for instructors looking to modernize their lesson plans and adopt one of the many alternatives to dissection that are currently available. The chapters are written in a way so that they can stand alone for the sake of readers with particular interests and the book is extremely well-documented providing a wealth of references for anyone who wishes to pursue any topic covered in greater depth.

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