Do High School Biology Students Still Dissect Frogs?

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posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 05:48 AM
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I've read mixed reports on the subject. What's the truth? Is frog dissection still a part of high school? And does it still fill kids with fear and dread?

Also, feel free to share your frog dissection stories.

As I recall, sophomore biology was the year of dissection. Kids told horror stories of frogs coming back to life during dissections, of cutting the wrong area and being drenched in frog blood (or worse!), and of classes become little more than vomitoriums as kids became sick from the sight of a frogs innards.

I wasn't a science geek. But I liked science. Especially biology. And my lab partner was a very cute girl who looked like Natalie Wood. She was also brave and not at all squeamish. But I've always had a bit of a dodgy stomach so I wasn't sure how I'd do. The earthworm dissection went fine. But a frog was no earthworm. The day approached. My mom said I didn't need to go. But I decided to ignore my stomach and take the risk. For science and Natalie Wood!

The class was sparsely attended. So we were allowed to dissect three frogs. It was a lot of fun. I didn't get even a little queasy. It was too fascinating. And Natalie was very impressed by skills with a scalpel.

Frog dissection was a rite of passage. It would be a pity if kids no longer have the chance to experience it. The fear and dread being part and parcel with actual experience of the dissection.




posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 05:56 AM
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we did worms, frogs and rats at school. the rats were kept in cages at the back of the lab and gassed for dissection. i never liked it.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 05:59 AM
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a reply to: Moresby

If not, I would guess that the dissection has just been replaced by extraction, selective amplification, and purification of DNA from tissue.

My guess is of course based on high school level biology in Denmark, but I would not be surprised if genetics was thought be the important thing to understand today in the U.S. too.
edit on 21-6-2014 by DupontDeux because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 06:04 AM
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a reply to: Moresby

Hi Moresby, I am a high school biology teacher in the UK. I don't know which country you live in but here the answer is no..... not exactly,

As a biology teacher I have the freedom to do this with a class if I choose to but we generally don't. The reasons are partly those you have mentioned above (squeamishness and silly behaviour), and also because the learning we get out of dissecting a frog is usually too vast for a single lesson period - fascinating and interesting as it might be. Sadly our curriculum pushes us on time and content to get the course complete and frog dissections simply take up too much time.

We have done frog dissections as an out-of-lesson-time science club activity where the syllabus is not considered but rather the experience, and of course the attendees are there voluntarily, not because they have to be.

We do however use proper lesson time to do dissections of chicken legs - just the legs - to show tissues (skin, bone, muscles, tendons, sinew, joint mobility) and also hearts (usually lamb / sheep heart to accommodate most religious sensibilities) to show the heart anatomy.

I love doing these lessons because the reaction of the pupils is so interesting. Some really are squeamish (and then go home and eat chicken for dinner :lol
but most are absolutely fascinated. I always get the ones I expect to be squeamish who surprise me by getting their hands right in there, and the converse too - the ones who have begged and nagged for the 'dissection lesson and then cannot cope.

As a teacher I have to ensure that I have back up work for those who simply cannot cope - they are usually sent to a different classroom to do written work or other research.

Hope that answers your question (at least for UK schools)

Mura
edit on 21-6-2014 by Mura44 because: punctuation
edit on 21-6-2014 by Mura44 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 06:05 AM
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Dissected frog ... 9 volt battery ... some wire ... girls in the class ......lots of fun.

Dead frogs can still jump.

No frogs are hurt in class. They just go sleepy buys and never wake up.

P



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 06:37 AM
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a reply to: Mura44

Thanks for sharing your insights. I'm in the US. Though I did do some of my schooling in the UK. But not High School.

It does seem in this age of the virtual and the digital that kids would benefit from something as real as frog dissection.

Plus its role as a cultural marker and rite of passage seems significant. That it's something that generation after generation goes through.

But, alas, I guess that is over.
edit on 21-6-2014 by Moresby because: He was dissecting a frog.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: Moresby

We dissected a pig and a cat in high school . A frog was 6th grade in PA. I graduated '07


I believe they changed it up for 2016 so that biology students instead just shove pharmaceuticals down the dead animal's throats. *sarcasm*
edit on 21-6-2014 by Antipathy17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 01:46 PM
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We did rats in junior high, and in high school, I opted to take the physiology class where we did fetal pigs, cow lungs, worms and several other things. The thing was that we never had live animals that were killed. Our school ordered in the ones that were preserved in formaldehyde and they'd been drained of blood and the arteries and veins filled with red and blue latex. No one threw up and after the first day, I don't recall anyone being squeamish about it, either.

It wasn't until we got into college and I took the six hour anatomy/physiology course that we dissected human cadavers and actually had live frogs in our evening lab. The frogs had to be live because we were studying heart and muscle response. They pithed the frogs which means cutting off the tops of their heads with a pair of scissors to leave the part of the brain stem that makes the heart work. Then we had to remove the heart so that it was still beating. No one threw up, and it was pretty cool actually.

After studying the heart, we then removed the leg muscles and used various chemicals to make the muscles twitch because the nerve cells were still alive.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 02:53 PM
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I made an account just for this post. I went to school in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I did a worm, a large African cricket, a star fish, frogs twice, a femur bone, a heart, an eye ball, a brain and 2 fetal pigs. I don't recall anyone throwing up but I do remember one girl getting splatted on the chin with pureed brain.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 03:00 PM
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a reply to: Moresby

We dissected frogs in junior high and pigs in high school. Never saw any vomiting. The animals don't have blood in them anymore.
edit on 6/21/2014 by Toromos because: spelling



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 03:24 PM
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We did worms and frogs. Our biology class teacher was an alcoholic. I found where he hid his vodka in the storage room. The lock was easy to pick. A buddy and I used to run to class and go steal a couple of shots before the bell rang. One day I reached into a large can that was high on a shelf. It was full of scalpels with the blades pointed up! I spent the rest of class trying to hide the fact that I was bleeding profusely.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 03:28 PM
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I quite frankly don't see the need to physically perform dissection of dead or live animals in high school biology any longer - especially if it isn't along the lines of a student's long term curriculum. With advanced technology and videography there simply is no justification for it. If they happened to use animals which died of natural causes that would be one thing. But to simply murder creatures in the name of *ahem* science for a sophomore in high school is wrong. I did the frog thing and thought it was interesting but I had no intention of going into a medical or science career and never did. I can't even remember anything much about it except I remember that it was done. I would have been just as happy to watch a high grade video of the whole procedure. I did feel bad for all the sacrificed frogs especially for a bunch of sophomore kids who couldn't care less about nerves and guts and stuff. It's not that important to have hands on experience if you plan on being an accountant or construction worker etc. A waste of frog legs if you ask me.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 03:44 PM
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originally posted by: StoutBroux
I quite frankly don't see the need to physically perform dissection of dead or live animals in high school biology any longer - especially if it isn't along the lines of a student's long term curriculum. With advanced technology and videography there simply is no justification for it. If they happened to use animals which died of natural causes that would be one thing. But to simply murder creatures in the name of *ahem* science for a sophomore in high school is wrong. I did the frog thing and thought it was interesting but I had no intention of going into a medical or science career and never did. I can't even remember anything much about it except I remember that it was done. I would have been just as happy to watch a high grade video of the whole procedure. I did feel bad for all the sacrificed frogs especially for a bunch of sophomore kids who couldn't care less about nerves and guts and stuff. It's not that important to have hands on experience if you plan on being an accountant or construction worker etc. A waste of frog legs if you ask me.


Yes, this is the argument some educators make. But accepting the notion that pictures and films are just as good as hands-on experience heads us down a slippery slope.

Kids, especially kids of today, need to understand that the world is not always a sanitized bubble-wrapped place.

Also, I believe the fear and dread about the experience is another way it serves as an educational tool. And, as the teacher above notes, students often react to the experience differently than he or they expect. That's learning too!

It's a type of experiential learning that can't come from a book or film.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 03:52 PM
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I think dissection is important for education (at this point still). Some may find it fascinating and become a great surgeon, others may realize they are absolutely repulsed at organs in general and realize they would be best not wasting time trying to become a doctor and turn to law or something instead, etc.

I also however think field medic should be part of a high school requirement class...being able to make splints, do CPR, know how to check for pulses, do emergency trakes, help a choking person, etc etc...things that are very relevant life skills. If someone drowns, they shouldn't be asking around if anyone knows CPR, it should be as common as knowing how to tie a shoe.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 10:58 PM
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We did a frog, pig, and (oddly enough...) a squid. The fun part about the squid? They were fresh and after we dissected them we fried them up, I kid you not! Had a cool bio teacher, lol. This was in..lets see...8th grade...so...1999 I think.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 11:02 PM
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Not frogs, I did baby pigs. Class of 2011



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 11:38 PM
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I did biology dissections in American high school in the 1980s. I'm still a proponent of it.

Watching it on TV (like watching the dressing of an animal carcass) leads the viewer to assume that all the tissues are extremely delicate and liable to be torn at a touch--like a butterfly's wing.

Kids need to know that such is not the case. It matters, and it matters when learning CPR and any emergency medicine. Folks with no dissection experience are afraid to actually touch someone in crisis, "for fear of hurting them." I write this as someone who has been first on the scene of a car wreck. The fact is, a tourniquet only works properly if it is in danger of pinching off the limb in question. Being afraid to hurt a dying person will certainly kill them. Same with re-inflating a lung after the saddle's pommel has punctured the rib cage. When seconds count, the ambulance is minutes away. And yes, people die every day because the only "help" was a squeamish person who just put their hands over their ears so they wouldn't have to listen to the screams of the injured. Happens in combat; happens in the wal-mart parking lot.

I have taught my own kids how to dress out a deer. you should see the look on their faces when you tell them that they'll need a hatchet for the pubic symphysis. They try to use a knife hammered with a rock. And it seldom goes well.

There is simply no substitute for real-world experience. And the feel of tissues, their resilience and springiness, is crucial to helping your fellow humans in any crisis. From happening upon a flipped minivan, to staunching the blood when your son falls out of a tree and snags himself on a branch on his way to the ground.

"Blacksmith's children are not afraid of sparks."



posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 05:48 AM
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a reply to: Moresby

I have no idea. Did it when I was in school, and rats later, in an advanced bio course. Cats after that, which I did NOT like, in an Army course for Animal Care. I didn't mind dissection, overall, but the trip to see a cadaver was not pleasant. The sight didn't bug me, but the formaldehyde smell was awful. I have a sensitive nose, and can't stand that smell. other than that, it was an interesting field trip.

These days, it may depend on the school location.



posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 05:56 AM
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About 16 years ago frogs were used for dissection in my school in the UK.

Never really saw the point in killing (what must be millions) of frogs to basically match up the insidy parts with a paper with the organs on it.

And as i always bring up: Why did i know what the inside of the frog looked and how it worked but i didnt know how to fill in a tax return.

VITAL INFO OBVIOUSLY

and no, i havnt murdered any frogs or taken their lungs out since. What a bloody shock that is huh?



posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 06:38 AM
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A good 20 years ago majority of schools had switched to worms due to public outcry but the more advanced biology classes afterward had rats, frogs, pigs etc. but it was optional participation and I believe extra credit in my school. I never went beyond Biology 1 and Earth Science.

Based on how stupid most people are today, and I'm sorry but it's true even my young family members that graduated with flying colors are dumb as a bag of toenails, I doubt they even require them to dissect worms at this point. All of the pissing and moaning about common core being so dreadful is really just a load of parents whining about their kids being proven to be less than average rather than solid A and B students because current standards are now dangerously low.

We went from number 1 in the world in education to something like barely in the top 20?
I don't recall offhand but it's bad.
If kids still dissect frogs should be the least of your concerns.





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