The construction and function of the bodies of higher organisms are studied in connection with the cell mainly in high school biology. However, it is difficult to make students understand that the bodies consist of many differentiated cells, which organize various tissues and organs. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) has been used to show not only the spatial relationships of cells forming tissues and organs, but also the existence of cell organelles in each cell. The application of either SEM or SEM micrographs to high school biology may be expected to be effective in showing that the cells are constituents of the body. The present investigation was carried out to examine whether the three-dimensional intracellular fine structure of leaf cells in Camellia japonica L. var. japonica, a typical teaching material, was observable, using a conventional SEM. Though the distribution of cell organelles was indistinguishable in most palisade tissue cells, the profiles of chloroplasts, each with thylakoid membranes, and nuclei were observed within the parietal cytoplasm of most spongy tissue cells. A possible application of SEM or SEM micrographs to the classes of hierh school biology will be proposed.
In order to have senior high school students observe the process of the digestion of proteins on the molecular level, a laboratory experiment using SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was previously developed and reported (Jpn. J. Biol. Educ. 38(3·4): 139-146). examine whether the experiment can really be performed in classes or not, the experiment has been repeated five times so far: four times in ”Biology II” (grade3) and once in ”Integrated Science” (grade2). In most cases, gel was already prepared by the teacher, and students mainly made the sample for SDS-PAGE and applied it on the sample slot of the gel. In the experiment of protein digestion, pepsin and milk were used respectively as the proteolytic enzyme and experimental materials. Moreover, the purpose of detecting various proteins, several kinds of food were mashed, adding SDS solution and analyzed by SDS-PAGE. From the electrophorogram shown as the result of the experiment, student were able to do all sorts of studies and seemed to have deepened the meaning of the control experiment.
Through five experiments, it was shown that electrophoresis, which is an indispensable method in molecular biology, could easily be understood and manipulated by students. Therefore, electrophoresis is found to be worth carrying out in biology lessons.
Various wild animals and plants on the earth are facing extinction. Kochi Prefecture is called the “Treasure House of Wild Orchids”, but many species are about to become extinct or are on the verge of extinction by being hunted for horticultural use in recent years. The purpose of this research is to acquire a guide for preservation of wild animals and plants (mainly composed of orchid family) and consider what environmental education there should be. To achieve this, we conducted a survey of students in Kochi Prefecture (Kochi University, Kochi Women’s University, The University of the Air, Kochi Agricultural High School), using a questionnaire form on their opinions regarding wildlife preservation and their recognition of CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species). According to the survey, the students believe that orchids are expensive and, for this reason, their purchases of orchids are limited. The proportion of students who believe endangered wild orchids must be protected is very large in number, however, there are also pros and cons on planting artificially propagated ones in natural environments. Furthermore, it seemed that the students were unconcerned and knew little about the preservation of wild plants and CITES in the circumstances where no education is offered for wildlife preservation. The needs for preservation of wild animals and plants, however, could be more recognized in the public, if we would make efforts to educate them on this matter through familiarizing themselves with wildlife in their neighborhoods and the mass media, such as TV.
Small animals have been kept traditionally for educational aims in many kindergartens and elementary schools in Japan. It is expected that keeping small animals encourages children’s sympathy, affection, responsibility, and respect to life. Since present schools do not offer any classes associated with Human-Animal relationships, most school teachers have no opportunity of getting knowledge of school animals and have in trouble with treating them. So, many veterinarians, who are parents of school children, have taken care of the school animals for a long time. In 1991, the city government of Hoya in Tokyo Pref. commissioned the veterinary association of Hoya city to give medical care to the school animals and teach children how to treat the animals. The number of municipalities associated with the Veterinary Support System became 250 as of September 2002.75 local governments including 23 prefectures commission to local veterinary associations.
The aims of the veterinarians in schools (The school-animal’s doctor) are that to teach children to treat the school animals with love, and to make a good environment to keep the school animals.
In this study, the author presents the teacher’s opinions about the educational effects of the animals in elementary schools, supported by Veterinary Support System.