Target: US Department of Education
Goal: Eradicate traditional dissection at the middle and high-school levels
It is a classic scene from any movie about school: frog dissection day. Usually full of squirming boys and queasy girls in pigtails, these portrayals have been around for many years- as have the realities behind them. But in a decade so technology-oriented, where schools are increasingly turning to online alternatives for many items in their curriculum, why is traditional dissection still around?
The average cost of a pack of ten preserved frogs to dissect is around sixty US dollars. With middle and high-school class sizes, one period of a single biology class would spend over one hundred dollars on dead frogs. Add in different class periods and perhaps a second classroom, and the cost skyrockets to over six hundred dollars for a single school term. Compare this to a free online alternative, or even a high-quality virtual dissection software with a one-time initial download cost, and the savings are staggering. The software available for both Apple and PC devices includes not only frog dissection, but fetal pig, crayfish, squid, and countless other alternatives that would have been incredibly expensive using traditional dissection.
Cost is not the only factor against traditional dissection, however. While dissections in universities and in college-level accelerated courses are applicable, especially in a medical major or anatomy degree, the use of traditional dissection in the curriculum of middle and high-school students is unnecessary. Dissections are even used as a reward in some classrooms–when the finals have been completed, the class sits back to enjoy a day of dissection that is not related to the course whatsoever. Students at any education level beneath college are not necessarily mentally mature enough to perform dissections on frogs or fetal pigs. Numerous complaints of students abusing the exercise or mutilating the specimens have been reported by students and staff across the country.
Please urge the US Department of Education to set aside the antiquated use of traditional dissection in our middle and high-schools, and to encourage the use of technology to meet the same educational goal through online alternatives or dissection software.
Dear Department of Education,
In a country in which technology is constantly evolving and advancing, so too should our education techniques. The use of traditional dissection in education at the middle and high-school level is becoming obsolete as new technology arises. Free online alternatives or purchasable virtual dissection software would not only save schools large sums of money, but would allow young students who are not necessarily mentally mature enough to interact with live specimens to learn in a safe and educational environment.
Dissection programs allow access to many different species which are used in traditional dissections, and provide realistic virtual dissections with the use of tools, organ recognition, and exploration, all readily available on either an Apple or PC, both standard issue in schools across the United States. While legislation and court battles arise over the choice of students to opt out of live dissections, a simple solution presents itself in the opportunity to utilize the impressive technology we have access to, and to allow all students to be involved in a way they are comfortable with.
[Your Name Here]