Animals can serve as valuable educational tools for elementary and high school students. By teaching young people reverence for all forms of life at an early age, it is possible to instill in them a proper perspective concerning the welfare and humane stewardship of animals. Exemplary subjects include the various aspects of evolutionary and embryological development; normal physiological processes, the mechanisms and pathology of naturally occurring infectious, metabolic, genetic and neoplastic diseases and aging; and an appreciation of the inevitability of death. Such studies can serve as learning models for students because these processes parallel or closely resemble those of man. This approach teaches the ethics of animal usage and can be shown to result in benefits not only to humans but also to other animals. Although much has also been learned from research on experimentally-induced disease in animals, these techniques should be reserved for the appropriately supervised research laboratory and should not be practiced in the high school classroom.
Dodds, W.J. (1980). Learning from animals: Models for studying physiology and disease. In H. McGiffin & N. Brownley (Eds.), Animals in education: Use of animals in high school biology classes and science fairs (pp. 23-26). Washington, DC: The Institute for the Study of Animal Problems.