Nav: Home

Study shows majority of US students can now choose non-animal teaching methods

October 04, 2016

Norfolk, Va. -- Sixty-three percent of students in U.S. public schools cannot be forced to participate in archaic animal dissection, according to new data from PETA published in The American Biology Teacher, an award-winning, peer-reviewed science-education journal.

The first-of-its-kind study assessed the prevalence and content of policies that allow students to opt out of animal dissection across the U.S. Among the findings, state-level policies were found in 22 states as well as Washington, D.C., while many large public school districts in the remaining states also offered dissection choices.

"PETA's study shows that a majority of school districts already recognize that cutting open animals is not necessary in the biology classroom," says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. "The future of learning lies in non-animal methods, such as sophisticated simulators and computer models that have repeatedly proved superior, and we will continue to encourage the remaining districts to follow the growing, compassionate trend."

peta2--PETA's youth division--notes that each year in the U.S., an estimated 10 million animals are killed for dissection. Many of them come from biological supply houses that sell cats who could have been someone's lost or stolen companion, fetal piglets who are cut from the wombs of pigs killed in slaughterhouses, and frogs who are taken from the wild--a practice that wreaks havoc on local ecosystems.

Non-animal teaching methods such as interactive computer programs have been shown to teach biology better than animal-based methods. They also save time and money. In its official position statement, the National Science Teachers Association endorses the use of modern non-animal methods as full replacements for animal dissection and encourages teachers to be responsive to students' ethical concerns.

peta2--whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to experiment on"--works with young adults across the country to get dissection-choice policies enacted at their schools and helps thousands of students through donations of interactive dissection software to schools and teachers.
You will need a subscription or membership to the National Association of Biology Teachers to view the paper in its entirety, but the abstract is available here.

For more information, please visit

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Related Teachers Articles:

Climate change misconceptions common among teachers, study finds
A new study by Mizzou education researchers shows that many secondary school science teachers possess climate change misconceptions similar to average Americans.
'Authentic' teachers are better at engaging with their students
Teachers who have an authentic teaching style are more positively received by their students, according to new research published in the National Communication Association's journal, Communication Education.
Teenagers can become disruptive if teachers use psychological pressure
The study, which was led by Stephen Earl from the University's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, discovered that psychological pressure from teachers can contribute to disengagement amongst teenage pupils under 14.
Peers, more than teachers, inspire us to learn
'Why do I have to learn this?' It's a common question among youth, but new research out of Michigan State University suggests students perform much better academically when the answer is provided by their peers rather than their teachers.
Students more likely to succeed if teachers have positive perceptions of parents
Researchers have found that teacher ratings of parental involvement early in a child's academic career can accurately predict the child's academic and social success.
Teachers may be cause of 'obesity penalty' on girls' grades
While obesity is often thought of as a health problem, a new study by a University of Illinois at Chicago sociologist suggests that discrimination by body weight may be the more important factor for obese white female students' lower success in school.
Students, teachers invited to 'Grow With It!'
Middle school students can experience the richness of science with real-world applications.
UH receives $1.45 million boost to prepare STEM teachers
Answering the call for more high school math and science teachers, the University of Houston is using a $1.45 million National Science Foundation grant to bolster its teachHOUSTON math and science teacher preparation program in a big way.
Teachers and students pair up to widen the STEM pipeline
NYU Tandon is issuing a call for NYC high schools to join a novel summer program that will bring together teams of teachers and their students who will learn robotics then take their knowledge back to their schools to establish elective courses in the STEM subjects.
Louisiana teachers more likely to teach to state standards, study finds
The adoption of the Common Core and similar state standards provides an opportunity to reimagine how to provide teachers with a clearer messages about what they can do every day to support student learning.

Related Teachers Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".