Saturday, 13 November 2010

Bad school science

From a recent Secondary School Update by
the PETA Foundation
- click the image to read it

Some schools still favour old-fashioned dissection in teaching science, despite the fact that it is not mandatory and there are far superior - and cruelty-free - alternatives.

In Penglais School (Aberystwyth) we were recently told that in years 12 and 13 there is some dissection of sheep hearts and kidneys and fish gills which is the default option - if science students do not want to do this then they have to opt-out. As the Penglais School Head of Science said in an email to us: "This does not disadvantage them [the students] as they can obtain the same information from books, models and computer simulations". This begs the question: why not switch the default to the cruelty-free option then? If the school moved to alternative methods for everyone then all students would be treated equally without involving the taking of life or slaughterhouse by-products, and there are other benefits.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have a Foundation for education. The site has materials for pupils as well as teachers, for example see the links to resources if you scroll down to 'science' here. The site also covers other education topics such as implementing Meat-Free Mondays in schools (as a cross-curricular global citizenship project) and resources on other topics that teachers can order for free, so is well worth a look.

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