Nicole Green, MA - Director, Animalearn
Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy - Executive Director, Animals in Science Policy Institute
Were you faced with animal dissection in middle school or high school? Most likely the answer is yes. Teaching children to have empathy for ALL animals, including those used in the name of science, will help to encourage compassion in the classroom environment. In this session, participants will discover the many dissection alternatives available, and they’ll learn about the global efforts to end the use of animals in dissection.
Sadly, millions of animals are used as teaching tools in science education from K-college. Fortunately, there are a wealth of humane science resources that can be accessed for kids who love animals and want to pursue a career involving animals to possibly be the next Dr. Jane Goodall. Today, kids who are interested in science technology engineering and math are encouraged to immerse themselves in STEM related classes and or learning experiences. That includes kids who aspire to work with animals or those kids who simply care about animals and don't want to participate in using animals in science.
One particularly harmful use of animals in science education is dissection. Advocacy groups have worked on the issue of dissection for many years; however, the pace of change is slow and animals are still widely used for dissection in North American secondary science education. This occurs despite evidence that non-animal alternatives: 1) are often superior in educational merit compared to dissection; 2) are more economical; and 3) provide a safe, inclusive educational experience. This is also despite the ethics-based Three Rs argument that if non-animal alternatives exist then they must be used. The continued use of animals for dissection undermines efforts to move towards a humane science education paradigm. Animalearn and AiSPI have built programs of work and campaign strategies to end the use of animals in dissection, not only in Canada and North America, but globally.
As humane educators, we can let kids know that they can pursue a science career or take a science class without having to harm an animal to do so. Kids can explore anatomy using virtual programs and inexpensive mobile applications in place of dissection. There are a number of hands-on learning tools that allow kids to have a tactile learning experience, such as through the use of clay modeling systems, which have proven to be just as effective learning tools as animal specimens. Giving kids the opportunity to understand that animals are not just inanimate objects and instead once living individuals who deserve our empathy and understanding is an important step in moving toward a more humane society.
About our Speakers: Nicole Green, MA - Director, Animalearn Nicole Green is the Director of Animalearn, an educational program of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) located in Pennsylvania. She has worked at AAVS for close to 20 years, helping to enlighten the public about the use of animals in science education and the numerous humane methods that can be used to replace them. Nicole currently serves as a Board Member at the Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE) and as an Advisor to the Humane Education Coalition (HEC). Nicole holds a Master's degree in Education & Innovation with an emphasis in Humane Education.
Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy - Executive Director, AiSPI Elisabeth Ormandy’s academic background in neuroscience and animal behaviour/welfare/ethics has driven her passion to critically evaluate the use of animals in science, and to promote the replacement of animals as best scientific practice. In 2015, she co-founded, and is current Executive Director of, the Animals in Science Policy Institute – a Canadian registered charity that aims to build a more ethical culture of science by promoting alternatives that reduce or replace animals in research, testing and education. Elisabeth serves as an advisor to the Vancouver Foundation, the Robert and Judy Clark Foundation for Animal Rights, the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, the Canadian Council on Animal Care, and the Humane Education Coalition. In addition to these roles, she is an instructor at the University of British Columbia, and currently teaches Animals and Society, Ethical Issues in Science, and Non-Animal Methods in Biomedical Sciences.
Participants who attend all three live panel discussions are invited to download a certificate of completion from the University of Denver's Institute for Human-Animal Connection with three contact hours documented!