While the primary objective of this unit is to teach students to develop their spatial abilities and to hone their skills at reading diagrams, there are other objectives which this unit will accomplish as well. Reading a diagram requires understanding what the artist or author is trying to communicate. In modern anatomy, much of the information that is shared with students is shared in the form of diagrams. These diagrams frequently show particular views or cross sections of the body or various parts of the body. These cross sections are standardized into three commonly accepted views of the body, which for beginning anatomists are easily confused. So, a second goal of this unit, which is very closely related to the first goal, is to have the students understand how the three cross sections correspond to three-dimensional reality.
Another object of this unit is to further my goal of preparing my junior and senior anatomy and physiology students for life after high school. Many of my students go on to college and all join the adult workforce in some capacity. In both cases, I would like my students to be able to continue their education, either formally in college or other formal training, or informally, on the job. Most post-secondary education, however, is largely dependant on and directed by the student, so if my students are to succeed after my classroom, they need to develop tools to help them learn on their own. Many of the classroom activities in this unit are partially designed with this goal in mind.