, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 107-121

The Effect of a Prior Dissection Simulation on Middle School Students' Dissection Performance and Understanding of the Anatomy and Morphology of the Frog

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Science teachers, school administrators, educators, and the scientific community are faced with ethical controversies over animal dissection in classrooms. Simulation has been proposed as a way of dealing with this issue. One intriguing previous finding was that use of an interactive videodisc dissection facilitated performance on a subsequent actual dissection. This study examined the prior use of simulation of frog dissection in improving students' actual dissection performance and learning of frog anatomy and morphology. There were three experimental conditions: simulation before dissection (SBD); dissection before simulation (DBS); or dissection-only (DO). Results of the study indicated that students receiving SBD performed significantly better than students receiving DBS or DO on both actual dissection and knowledge of the anatomy and morphology. Students' attitudes toward the use of animals for dissection did not change significantly from pretest to posttest and did not interact with treatment. The genders did not differ in achievement, but males were more favorable towards dissection and computers than were females.