NAVS-Supported Study Published in Educator Journal

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NAVS is proud to have contributed to a new article published in The American Biology Teacher about the benefits of using non-animal teaching methods in place of traditional animal dissection.

NAVS and IFER Science Advisor Pam Osenkowski, PhD is a co-author of the research study, entitled “Animal Dissection vs. Non-Animal Teaching Methods: A Systematic Review of Pedagogical Value.” Dr. Osenkowski collaborated on the article with other members of the Eclipse Dissection Group, which is comprised of individuals working at animal advocacy organizations around the world. The article was published in the September edition of ABT, a peer-reviewed professional journal of the National Association of Biology Teachers.

The paper examined the educational merit of non-animal teaching methods compared with animal dissection. To do this, the authors identified peer-reviewed literature published between 2005 and 2020 that compared the educational value of non-animal teaching methods with dissection through assessments of student learning. The authors found that in 95% of the studies examined, students at all educational levels performed as well—and in most cases better—when they used non-animal teaching methods as compared to animal dissection. As a result, the authors recommended that steps be taken by educational institutions to phase out animal dissection, in line with the 3Rs principle of replacement. “NAVS is proud to contribute to the growing body of literature recognizing the value of non-animal teaching methods as replacements for traditional dissection specimens,” noted Dr. Osenkowski. “Many teachers have pre-conceived notions about the benefits of dissection and continue to offer these activities in their classrooms for a ‘hands-on’ activity and to continue traditions in biology education. We are pleased that our article was published in a journal widely read by K-16 biology educators, as this is the group we most want to hear this message.”