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Dissecting Virtual Dissection

The National Association of Biology Teachers officially says that "There is no suitable alternative to the real dissection of animals and that dissection is essential to the understanding of life on earth." So what about all those students who oppose dissection for religious or moral reasons? Do they have to take a lower grade? Find out more about the alternatives to dissection and why more peeps are refusing to dissect.

What Is Virtual Dissection?

Virtual dissection is typically done on a computer, either online or through a computer program - but that's not the only way it can be done. There are tons of resources available for peeps interested in anatomy but who aren't comfortable dissecting real animals. There are worksheets you can do, videos you can watch and even full-scale, life-like models that piece together to show you exactly where the various animal parts go. The best part about virtual dissection tools is that they are all reusable. The anatomy of an animal isn't going to change, so the same models, videos and online activities can be used by a school for years to come.

What's Wrong with Real Dissection?

Many people believe there is nothing wrong with real dissection and that it is an important component of science class and many students enjoy dissection. However, there are reasons why dissection has caused such a stir in schools - other than it being kind of gross.

  • Between three to six million frogs are bred and killed each year for the purpose of dissection.
  • Just 12 Bullfrogs can cost $182. Times that by every Biology class in your school each year and you have one costly science experiment.
  • Frogs aren't the only animals used for Biology class - fetal pigs, cow's eyes and even cats are part of some curriculums.

Does Everyone Have to Dissect?

At most schools in North America, dissection is part of the science curriculum but some teachers have alternate assignments for kids who opt out. Ten American states have specific "dissection choice" laws in place that allows students to choose not to dissect - New York, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Illinois, Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Other states may have school board policies that regulate dissection choice. These laws allow students to participate in alternatives to dissection.

In Australia, teachers have the choice to include dissection in their lessons but it is not something that must be taught. And in other countries, like Argentina, dissection is banned in all schools. Other countries, like Poland, Holland, Switzerland and Israel, do not teach dissection until university. This doesn't mean they no longer study biology in these countries - they've just found alternatives to real dissection.

  • If you would like to try your hand at virtual dissection, check out the virtual dissection activities on www.froguts.com.

Planning Your Next Move

If you know that your science class will be dissecting this year and you want to opt out, it's best to act sooner rather than later. Tell your parents why you don't want to dissect and ask for their support for your decision. You'll probably want to find out what state laws and/or school board policies apply to you before talking to your teacher. When you do talk to your teacher about dissection, try to be calm, friendly and reasonable. You'll want to make it clear that your more than willing to do extra work to prove that you're not opting out of dissecting just so that you can slack. If your teacher isn't sympathetic to your cause, you may want to get your parents to come in with you to talk to the teacher or a principal. Good luck!

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What Do You Think of Virtual Dissection?

  • I think it's a great alternative to real dissection.
  • I think it's dumb - I'd rather dissect for real.
  • I'm not sure.
  • I don't think we should have to take science at all!

Random In The Forums

unicornsrule626
"angelover4" wrote:in my opinion when ur at a younger age like 7 8  9 or 10.....youd like homeschooling better but wn u start getting older up into ur teen yrs I think public or private school is better cuz it gives u more of a social life. And its just better that way. because I've been homeschooled since 3rd grade and I'm in 8th grade now,  I have a very small social life. I have done stuff like dance and cheerleading but still, I only have one good friend (actually she is AWESOME!)
reply about 12 hours
unicornsrule626
"rainbowpoptart" wrote:It depends on the person. Homeschooling may be better for this guy, but public school may be better for that one. Overall, neither is "better" than the other. They both have their ups and downs, coming from someone who has [technically] done both.All of the problems, of course, can be fixed. I'll use the two most common complaints I hear as examples.Homeschooling doesn't give you enough social interaction with real life people? Go outside. Ask your local school if you can participate in any extracurriculars.You don't think the curriculum in public school is flexible enough for you, but you don't want to convert to homeschooling? There are plenty of educational books, videos, and websites that are easily accessible online or from the library (seriously, Khan Academy and Crash Course saved my life, bless those men). nice! I have asked my local school but they refused because I'm not vaccinated (we don't believe in vaccines) but NY is one of the strictest  states for homeschool. we are moving and I might be able to go to high school but I could always stick with homeschool. With the social side, i have lots a lot of my social skills so now I'm really shy but i can work and fix that
reply about 12 hours
MarshmallowHeart
I'm 17, I joined Kidz World when I was 12! in just 3 months I'll be 18
reply about 12 hours
rainbowpoptart
It depends on the person. Homeschooling may be better for this guy, but public school may be better for that one. Overall, neither is "better" than the other. They both have their ups and downs, coming from someone who has [technically] done both. All of the problems, of course, can be fixed. I'll use the two most common complaints I hear as examples. Homeschooling doesn't give you enough social interaction with real life people? Go outside. Ask your local school if you can participate in any extracurriculars. You don't think the curriculum in public school is flexible enough for you, but you don't want to convert to homeschooling? There are plenty of educational books, videos, and websites that are easily accessible online or from the library (seriously, Khan Academy and Crash Course saved my life, bless those men).
reply about 12 hours
PunMaster
PunMaster posted in Say Anything:
("wow.. Maybe I can help you some time." PunMaster offered) he landed on a rock below, and Paperjam was about twenty ahead of him. "Great Job! Now let's go!" 
reply about 13 hours