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Dissection is still an issue for the school education. I read some debates and other controversial opinions whether dissection should be taught to kids at schools or stopped. The term of dissection means to cut apart an animal body or plant to examine the structure, relation of part and other scientifical purposes.
The issue of cruelty is the main problem behind the dissection activities. However, after considering the purpose of dissection as a mean to learning better the God's creature physically, we decided to do dissection with kids with some other reasons.
Exploring the Living Creatures
Dissection is not only about animals, but it also can be about plants. Before doing the animal dissection, we have done the flower dissection with children. Both animals and plants are living creatures that have the right to live. However, as Christians, we believe that human beings have been trusted to explore and rule over all other living creatures, (Gen 1:28) God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” To response to the trust from God, it is important to emphasize the sense of responsibility in doing dissection.
The responsibility in doing dissection will include:
- The serious attitude in doing dissection. It is not a game. This is an activity to explore the world that God has trusted us.
- The use of animals should consider the life cycle and availability in the existence. It means that we are not going to use the endangered animals.
As long as the purpose of dissection activities is to explore the knowledge about the living creature on the earth, it is something permitted to do. If kids want to learn about the living creatures more seriously, learning about them inside and outside will help them to engage the learning. Of course, we are not going to dissect all living creatures in the world if we want to learn about all of them. One or a couple of them as samples will be enough to represent certain kinds of animals for the children age.
Building up skills
In doing dissection, we need to maintain the principle of tidiness. There are many methods of dissections to know the inside parts of the dissected objects, but beyond everything we will be able to learn better if we get a clean and systematic work. To get the clean work and result some dissection skills are needed:
- Determining the opening line needs an analysis to the anterior and posterior points of the object. Before dissection, an adult can discuss with kids to analyze using the logical thinking skill regarding the spacial of the object.
- A good dissection should not make blood on the cutting skin. The blood is produced when the cutter breaks the blood cavity. The ability to cut without making blood needs good skill to feel the right parts of the skin to cut and the organ that they should not break.
- The analysis skill to clarify the organs of the dissected objects need a practice. It is the real form of learning. What are illustrated in the picture are not the same with the reality. We still need to analyze the parts of the body well. The analysis can also be continued with the function and behavior cause and effects. Without observing the real condition, it will be harder to do so.
To conclude, dissection doesn't only involve courage to do, but it also needs more than that. Doing dissection in smarter ways will help kids to learn about the objects much better.
Grow The Love to The Creation and The Creator
Before doing dissection, people usually wonder whether dissection will teach children to be cruel to the animals or not. After doing the dissection, the result is in contrast for our 5 kids.
- Before the dissection, they were fear touching the animal, even the smaller size ones. After the dissection, they have different view or attitude toward the animals. They don't shoo the animals directly when they see ones. They have a tendency to observe the animal first imagining the inside of the body which is actually weak creature.
- The children treat the animal softer and more lovingly after observing the weak side of the animals. It depends on how we give understanding about dissection toward the kids.
- Looking at how tiny and how soft the inside organ of animals, kids were very amazed. They remember the Creator who creates the animals and the get amazed on how God loves all creators. God pays attention to the every single detail and how the creatures exist to make the world more perfect for humans. Once again, it also depends on how we, as parents, to give more understanding toward children.
To conclude, one benefit of homeschooling is the ability of parents to do more positive approach toward kids about the dissection spiritually. The positive attitude from children will also depend on how teachers or parents give the positive approach.
Get Children Experience It
Learning about the inside and outside of living things might not have to be from dissection. There are many alternatives by watching the video and virtual. However, the sense will be different. Much different! Doing dissection will give some feeling of experience:
- Most kids will feel scared. It is not only kids, but also parents or teachers. It is a normal feeling, I think and we cannot force everyone. The most important thing is how to deal with the feeling. Even when finally you cancel the activity because of the feeling of fear, at least you experience that feeling and not to “play” with the living things.
- Touching the animals or plants is something that not everyone can experience when the animals are conscious. Experiencing the texture and thick of the animals' skin is one benefit that we get from the dissection activities.
- The pressure of being tidy and accurate in dissection will give children more focus and careful. This is also a valuable experience we get from dissection.
More Alive to Learn
Learning anatomy can also be done from the video, encyclopedia, and worksheets. However, learning from the dissection activity is something alive that will make children to remember the internal parts of the body much easily. They can compare the real-life learning with the reference they have so that the learning will make more sense to them. Without too much expectation, if we think further, the experience of dissection might also lead the kids to have their passion as a doctor or scientists as well.
Are you interested in dissection? This book is really helpful for us:
Coloring is also another activity we like before and after dissection:
This post is a part of the Dissection with Kids Series. Here are other posts about dissection with kids you should visit:
- The Reasons for The Dissection with Kids
- The Preparation for The Dissection with Kids
- The Tips for The Dissection with Kids
- After The Dissection with Kids
- 40 Alternative Resources for The Dissection with Kids
To learn more about animals and science topics, we use our Basic Science Notebooking Page Templates. Check it out: