Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cut (make optional) Dissections, Not Frogs

Over the years, millions of various animals have been killed and preserved, purely for the use of biology class disections. When students are introduced to the dissection project in class, most students jump at the chance to cut up something, not to learn about the anatomy of a frog, a mouse or what have you. Yet, there is that select group of kids who very nearly wretch at the faintest idea of cutting up an animal.
But that select group still has to go through with the dissection process whether they like it or not.
Biology class dissections are an excellent way for students to study the anatomy of different animals in a hands on way, to learn about the organisms that coexist with us. They are an excellent way to compare animals with unique functions to others.
Eventhough this process benefits students greatly, a lot of students would rather write an essay than cut up an animal that was once living and breathing.
There are some phycological aspects that go along with the decision to not dissect. The classical frog dissection takes place around seventh grade, and for many this is too younge of an age to be okay with coming face to organ with a real animal's body. Some people just can not deal with making incisions and such, (especially when there are still flies in the frogs' stomachs).
Another aspect is physical. A lot of teenagers, when they think about organs and blood, they get sick, and some even throw up.
So why subject students to that kind of agony? The least school districts can do is make these optional.
In some schools, students have the option to either do the dissection or to do an assignment on the anatomy of a frog; where the hands-on learning teaches, so does the written assignment.
This would be such a good solution for those students who simply can not deal with handling a once alive thing and completely massacre it.
Jamie Robinson, a biology teacher at Eaglecrest High School stated her opinion: "I feel like if I make [the dissection] optional, that no one will do it." However, many students look forward to dissections, and it is a fact that there are only the select few who would chose a written assignment over a real, live dissection.
Making dissections optional would save students from having to go through a possible phycological, or physical, trauma, while still providing them with the same information.
By making this change, school districts would save water, for washing the eutensils, students' sanity, (and stomachs), and maybe some frogs too.

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