The effectiveness of humane teaching methods in veterinary

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas.

The evidence demonstrates that veterinary educators can best serve their students and animals, while minimising financial and time burdens, by
introducing well-designed teaching methods not reliant on harmful animal use.

Knight A. The effectiveness of humane teaching methods in veterinary
education. ALTEX: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation 2007;24(2):91-109.

ABSTRACT

Animal use resulting in harm or death has historically played an integral
role in veterinary education, in disciplines such as surgery, physiology,
biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, and parasitology. However, many
non-harmful alternatives now exist, including computer simulations, high
quality videos, "ethically-sourced cadavers," such as from animals
euthanased for medical reasons, preserved specimens, models and surgical
simulators, non-invasive self-experimentation, and supervised clinical
experiences. Veterinary students seeking to use such methods often face
strong opposition from faculty members, who usually cite concerns about
their teaching efficacy. Consequently, studies of veterinary students were
reviewed comparing learning outcomes generated by non-harmful teaching
methods with those achieved by harmful animal use. Of eleven published from
1989 to 2006, nine assessed surgical training - historically the discipline
involving greatest harmful animal use. 45.5% (5/11) demonstrated superior
learning outcomes using more humane alternatives. Another 45.5% (5/11)
demonstrated equivalent learning outcomes, and 9.1% (1/11) demonstrated
inferior learning outcomes. Twenty one studies of non-veterinary students in
related academic disciplines were also published from 1968 to 2004. 38.1%
(8/21) demonstrated superior, 52.4% (11/21) demonstrated equivalent, and
9.5% (2/21) demonstrated inferior learning outcomes using humane
alternatives. Twenty nine papers in which comparison with harmful animal use
did not occur illustrated additional benefits of humane teaching methods in
veterinary education, including: time and cost savings, enhanced potential
for customisation and repeatability of the learning exercise, increased
student confidence and satisfaction, increased compliance with animal use
legislation, elimination of objections to the use of purpose-killed animals,
and integration of clinical perspectives and ethics early in the curriculum.
The evidence demonstrates that veterinary educators can best serve their
students and animals, while minimising financial and time burdens, by
introducing well-designed teaching methods not reliant on harmful animal
use.