Ethics of Dissection

There's an elephant in your classroom. That's right — a big, awkward elephant named Dissection. Sure, you'd like to talk about him ... but how? Whether you're a seasoned teacher or fresh out of student teaching, the topic of dissection can be uncomfortable. The plan provides structure for the conversation and gives your class the tools to form educated opinions about why we dissect.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Use this lesson prior to dissection in Biology or Anatomy to provide context for the ethical questions that often arise
  • The research component can be assigned as homework, effectively reducing the overall length of the activity to one class period
Classroom Considerations

  • Schedule time in the computer lab to facilitate individual research
Pros

  • Combining research, writing, and discussion on what is often a controversial topic in the life sciences classroom helps learners gain perspective and form their own opinions
  • The teacher's guide includes detailed directions and printable materials for each aspect of the lesson
  • Teachers of all tenure will benefit from incorporating the activity into their predissection plans
Cons

  • None