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Gross Anatomy? (For the Children)

biscuit

Cyburbian
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3,904
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Parents of fifth graders at a wealthy Pittsburgh suburban school are upset that a local neurosurgeon brought a human arm into the classroom as part of a presentation on art and science.

From todays Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
It's fair to say that both doctors showcased at a Fox Chapel elementary school on Tuesday made an impression. In one case, it was just a little more lasting.

Dr. Seuss was the attraction in some classrooms at Fairview Elementary, with parents reading "Green Eggs and Ham" and using seaweed and other green foods for props.

Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Horowitz was headlining a fifth-grade science lesson on the human body. His prop was a human cadaver arm, which he opened to show its nerves and other parts.

At least one child vomited; five children left the classroom feeling ill. Another child fainted almost immediately.
You can read the whole story here

So what's your take on this? Was the Doctor just giving an honost and ultimately realistic lessen in science? Or are the parents justified in their feelings that their children are too young for something so potentially disturbing ?

Personally, as a ten year old I would have found it to be very cool and fascinating. But, then again, I never was really "right in the head." ;-)

Discuss
 
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boiker

Cyburbian
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3,889
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5th graders are probably, as the article shows, not mature enough to learn at that kind of graphic level. To kids, an arm is an arm is an arm. He might as well had dissected his own arm or a students.

I know/knew pre-med and biology majors that got sick, ill, or disturbed from things like this. It's almost a given, even in our "de-sensitized" society that children would react negatively to that type of instruction.
 

donk

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In grade 8 my science teacher brought in a dead fox, a goose and other animals and laid them out on the front table and showed us the starting steps for taxidermy. I did not make it 5 minutes.

I think a human arm is a bit over the edge. I avoid open casket funerals like the plague.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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biscuit said:
Personally, as a ten year old I would have found it to be very cool and fascinating. But, then again, I never was really "right in the head." ;-)
That would have been pretty cool to see as a kid. The parents shouldn't be up in "arms" over this;)
 

kms

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I was just listening to KDKA, where the school spokeswoman was interviewed. She said that while the paper says that one child became sick, that didn't really happen. She didn't seem too shocked about the arm, or the complaints.

As a parent, I would like to be notified if something like this were going to be displayed at school. (I would go to school to see it, too.) My daughter, as a fifth grader, would have been too young to see a cadaver arm. I think that it would disturb her as a middle school student.
 

Cardinal

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Fifth grade is too young to be exposing kids to human disection. At that age they still have not developed the higher-order mental functions (reason and ethics, for instance) that need to accompnay such an action. A pig or other animal might have been easily subtituted, and even then, the parents should still have been informed.
 

biscuit

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kms said:
I was just listening to KDKA, where the school spokeswoman was interviewed. She said that while the paper says that one child became sick, that didn't really happen. She didn't seem too shocked about the arm, or the complaints.

As a parent, I would like to be notified if something like this were going to be displayed at school. (I would go to school to see it, too.) My daughter, as a fifth grader, would have been too young to see a cadaver arm. I think that it would disturb her as a middle school student.
What!? Your saying that the Post-Gazette may have gotten the facts of the story wrong? Why that...that's just shocking! ;-)

I agree that parental notification would have perhaps been the best route to go with this. Heck, a lot of parents - like yourself - may have been interested enough to come see this themselves.

One of the positive things about this is that those kids are lucky enough to live in a school district where neurosurgans are coming in to give science presentations. The local farmer with the two headed calf was about as highbrow as it got back in my school days. ;-)
 

nerudite

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In the seventh grade as part of health class, we had a field trip the Pasadena Chiropractor College where we witnessed the disection of human bodies. I remember someone asking me if I wanted to hold a liver, and then I felt ill. Even so, our whole class knew what it was in for and our parents approved of the trip. It must have been quite a shock to fifth graders to bring a severed arm in to the classroom without any real warning as to what was coming.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
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7,181
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Kids have been seeing Michael Jacksons pecker for years now... why should an arm bother them?
 

GeogPlanner

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Mastiff said:
Kids have been seeing Michael Jacksons pecker for years now... why should an arm bother them?
lmao

some people are NEVER ready to see a body disected. i think that the teacher should have given fair warning to students and parents and allowed those who were not comfortable to opt out. but i see nothing wrong in doing it...
 

Zoning Goddess

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TMI for elementary school. Usually, kids don't even dissect a frog or rabbit until middle school or high school. I'd beat a teacher silly for dumping that on my kid.
 
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