Plastinated bodies enter the classroom

13th February 2009 at 00:00

Once, they robbed graves. Later, they were taught to dissect frogs. But today, would-be medical students are encouraged to look at plastinated body parts.

Warwick University has launched a series of educational films on its website, aimed at A-level pupils considering a career in medicine.

The films, available on the university's website, offer an overview of different parts of the plastinated body. Warwick is the first British university to have purchased plastinated body parts from Gunther von Hagens, the German doctor who pioneered the technique.

The creator of the Body Worlds exhibition discovered that it was possible to preserve and display dead bodies by removing all bodily fluids and soluble fat, and replacing them with plastic.

Peter Clenshaw, director of the Body Worlds exhibition, said: "The plastination process allows you to see how the body works. From the heart to the lungs, every specimen is on show. It allows people to see the whole body dissected in a three-dimensional way."

This week, the organisers of the exhibition, at London's O2 centre, set up a private viewing for teachers to persuade them of the pedagogical value of plastic corpses.

Teachers were shown an exhibit of bodies illustrating disease and decay, which organisers suggest could enhance science, PE and PSHE lessons for secondary pupils.

John Lawrence, of the Association for Science Education, agrees the models have pedagogical value.

"In the same way that teachers have used models of human eyes or rats in formalin, it adds something," he said. "But obviously, if someone doesn't want to engage with that, you have to say, 'Fine.'"

http:itunes.warwick.ac.uk

www.visitlondon.combodyworldseducation.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now