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An Eye for the Future

Pupils lose a slice of real science as schools drop dissection - Times Online

Schools, sensitive to squeamish pupils and the risks of their misusing scalpels, have abandoned cutting up frogs or animal organs and replaced them with computer simulation or plastic replicas.
In addition to health and safety fears, schools cited changes to the curriculum which place more emphasis on issues such as the environment than on practical skills.

Helen Wright, headmistress of the private St Mary’s Calne, a girls’ school in Wiltshire, said her pupils were taught dissection once they reached the age of 15. Occasionally they worked with pickled rats or fish heads, but more often with pigs’ hearts and kidneys “usually sourced from a very nice butcher in Devizes”.

So learning about the environment trumps actually science, why am I not surprised. But at least the nice young ladies at St Mary's are being taught not to be squeamish about handling flesh, it is an important quality for a successful marriage.


Don't we have any of the supposedly 'gory' stuff in cooking any more?

How about preparing a freshly killed trout, or at least trimming and dicing some braising steak? And gutting a chicken is far less messy than plucking it, at least in my opinion.

Changing babies' nappies is also quite good in this regard; surely any person of 12+ years could do that without risk, under direct guidance the first couple of times.

And what about all those farm trips during the lambing season? Some young people could at least move the newly-born lambs to the teat, if not help pull out the difficult ones. Pigs too; they usually come in larger packets.

I thought young ladies (and men) knew all about these things anyway, sooner than most of my generation, and it's just a matter of involving the hands, as well as the eyes and brain.

Best regards

Meanwhile on the other side of the planet pupils get taught the full range of science based subjects with all the "hard bits" left in. For years the UK has steadily fallen down the international league tables for all subjects that require a bit of hard work - maths, physics, chemistry, biology etc. This additional stupid and damaging piece of dumbing down is just one more step to our own destruction as a leading player in the world.

I remember sticking the aorta of the pig's heart I was about to dissect on one of the taps in the biology classroom, to general amusement. By turning the water on and off, you could make it look like it was beating. We were a decidedly unsqueamish bunch of little horrors, as I recall.

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