Johnson, William, C.
Cat Dissection; Tutorial; Human Anatomy
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HuMan: A Cat Dissection Tutorial
Human anatomy is a topic that many important scientific studies depend on, such as the study of medicine or the research of cultural gender identities and their respective anatomical characteristics. It is logical to expect those who want to work with and study the human body to have a greater understanding of what makes us what we are. Unfortunately this topic is typically considered difficult to learn as there is a very large amount of material to memorize and even more material to comprehend in order to truly achieve an understanding of the human body. This tutorial is designed to give laboratory teaching assistants (TAs) the tools they need to conduct the cat dissections based on Dr. William C. Johnson II’s human anatomy course curriculum. Of course the more fundamental goal is that with the instructions presented in this tutorial, more students will be successful when studying this subject.
There are two tools that make up this tutorial and, when used together, will specifically outline what each dissection requires. The first is a set of videos of Dr. Johnson performing the dissections as he offers helpful commentary. The second is a written dissection companion that outlines the same processes that Dr. Johnson follows in the videos as well as offers helpful tips for the lab TA to use to inform the students and to do so in ways that are accurate and efficient. The written companion is also based on information in one of the required texts of the course, Johnson and Miller’s Regional Anatomy Dissector and Laboratory Companion, second edition, which allows the students to review the lab information with a different perspective.
Human anatomy is a very important and focused topic that presents many challenges for students. Similarly, this dissection tutorial is very specific to Dr. Johnson’s course but the goal is to alleviate some of the challenges involved with the task of learning human anatomy. Specifically, Dr. Johnson’s course is based on a regional anatomy teaching approach through extensive lecture discussion and the use of dissected cats, human prosthetic models, and other tools for viewing anatomical structures in the lab. Adding this tutorial to the list of tools that Dr. Johnson provides his students will hopefully improve the performance of the students as well as continue to improve the quality of education that they can expect from Dr. Johnson and his lab TAs.