Thesis Title

Dissecting The Process Of Dissection: A Comparison Of Animal Dissection And Computer-Generated Dissection With Middle School Students


Kris Spencer

Date of Graduation

Summer 2004


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Janice Greene


The use of animals for dissection has long been a tool for teaching comparative anatomy and physiology in the Science classroom. Advances in technology have provided possible alternatives to performing animal dissection. This is a study of dissection practices in the middle school comparing actual animal dissection with computer-generated dissection. Pre- and post-tests were used to determine the best methods of teaching comparative anatomy as well as respect for animals. Student behavior during both dissection methods was also analyzed and recorded. On average, students performing computer-generated dissection performed as well as those dissecting the actual animal. On-task behavior of student was better during the computer-generated dissection. There was quite a shift in student opinion regarding the use of animals for dissecting following the dissections. Approximately 30% of students changed their opinion from pro-animal to pro-computer-generated disssection. This study shows that computer-generated dissection can serve as a beneficial alternative to animal dissection.


dissection, animal dissection, middle school, biology, life science

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


© Kris Spencer