This special issue of the AV Magazine (a publication of our parent organization, the American Anti-Vivisection Society) includes these articles, and more: Celebrating 20 Years of The Science Bank; Dissection is the Wrong Lesson; High-Tech Alternatives that can Replace Animals; Teachers Share their Perspectives
I remember biology," parents often begin at their annual conference with the teacher. "That was when I dissected that terrible-smelling frog." The odor and dstate the dissection experience evokes have been among the most pervasive memories of secondary school science for more than a century. But in the 1990's, environmental consciousness, curricular concerns, and political pressure on schools and school boards have changed biology dramatically. Today, teachers often respond to a reminiscing parent, "But we don't do that any more."
To many, dissection in high school biology may seem a relic of the past; however, the majority of biology teachers that I work with still hold steadfastly to its use. As a biology faculty member with Boulder High School, I have experienced this first hand. My choice to not use dissection is the subject of this article. This decision was strongly opposed by some members of my school’s biology department and administration. While I was ultimately awarded permission to use alternatives, it was not without many barriers to overcome. I hope other biology teachers who oppose dissection and experience pressure to do it anyway can use my story to navigate this surprisingly tumultuous ground.