According to scientific records, in 400 BC, animal experiments that started for anatomical structure studies, and in 100 BC, those experiments were done scientifically for the first time. Animal experiments, which increased rapidly with the Renaissance period, started to be discussed in the 18th century with the views that animals are not unemotional and that they are creatures that can feel like humans. In the 19th century, the idea that animal experiments should be done but ethical rules that impose certain limitations became widespread. In 1959, Russell and Burch introduced the 3R rules for animals used in experiments and these rules were accepted by scientists. In this activity, it is aimed to raise awareness among students about animal experiments, which have increased rapidly in the historical process and where ethical studies are intensified today. With the argumentation-based teaching method used in this activity, the starting point of which is animal experiments, it is aimed to support students’ scientific literacy by honing their critical thinking abilities.
Implementation of the event
The activity starts with word clouds to reveal the concepts that come to mind about the concept of animals and the associations formed by the students about animals.
Students are asked to think about our relationship with animals according to the question: “What is the place of animals in society?”. With a matching game in which students can explore the usage areas of animals in general, it is ensured that they gain awareness about the areas they do not think about or are not aware of. By asking the question, “What are the positive and negative areas where animals are used in society?” a discussion environment is created and students are asked to share their opinions.
Students watch videos about guide dogs, diabetes dogs, animals used in scientific and experimental studies and are asked to share their thoughts about each video. Thus, it is ensured that the students’ thoughts about the usage areas of animals are deepened.
After the videos, an argumentation-based activity is started that will improve the students’ critical thinking skills on the use of animals in scientific studies and experiments. Students are asked how they ethically evaluate the use of animals in scientific studies and experiments. He is asked to explain his claims on this subject with data and justifications using dilemma cards.
Students’ awareness raised by talking about the benefits of animal experiments from the past to the present, about the, alternative technological methods (dissection applications, medical simulators, chip organ …) that we can provide without using animals and 3R principles.
Students are asked to divide into groups and design a remarkable and awareness-raising poster for the use of animals in science in the light of the knowledge they have acquired during the lesson. Posters are displayed at school.
At the end of the activity, an evaluation is made using the questions in annex 4 with a fun game called “Boom”.
In the word cloud at the beginning of the activity, it was seen that the students included positive situations and examples about animals. At the end of the activity, the students stated that they noticed the negative situations related to the animals and they wanted the animals not to be affected by the negative situations. In addition, the students stated that they love animals and that animals are as valuable as humans and that ethical values should be followed in animal experiments. They stated that creating word clouds, matching and boom games were very enjoyable during the implementation of the activity, and they could think about the events in different ways during the discussions.
This learning scenario enables students to view events from different perspectives and experience different emotions together. At the end of the activity, it was seen that the students gained important gains about the concept of ethics in animal experiments.