Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Animal welfare lessons in schools,why not?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by jetsmum, Apr 9, 2011.


  1. jetsmum

    jetsmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    14,708
    Likes Received:
    1,979
    Renewing an old thread.

    In the thread 'Booked in to die',I made a suggestion that the only way to stop animal cruelty would be to have lessons on animal welfare in schools. as I was typing this I got more and more angry with myself for not trying to do something.And decided I would try and get some form of campagin going,with others or my self if I had to.
    I've had some lovely responses and ok a couple of negative one.But because it was on a thread about a differant subject and I sort of got carried away, I think not everyone understands what I want to do.

    I believe that in order for attitudes to animal welfare to change,( and that includes all kinds of pets,) the key lies in education. Children must be taught the value and beauty of animals. The way to do this is to ask an hour a week, to focus on animals. This could easily be incorporated into other lessons, on citizenship perhaps or even RE.
    It's no good crying and getting upset when we read these horrible stories about cruelty,tears will not save an animal.
    If you are interrested please refer to the posts on the other thread.

    I am not trying to save Saffys, that was the op. I wish I could, but I cant. I have to make that clear as I think some people have misunderstood my intention.

    Theres are many in the same boat, who want to help animals but are not in the position to take on a rescue. Surely anyone can write letters and send emails, it won't take much time.
    Anyone who is interrested please transfer over to here and let the op get on with their urgent good work.
    Thanks.
     
    #1 jetsmum, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  2. alan g a

    alan g a Hello ev'ry body peeps. Stavross 'ere init.

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,530
    Likes Received:
    882
    Its great idea and definitely meets with my approval . However their are two problems:~
    1. Their is a limited amount of time in schools. and not every cares about as we obviously do.
    2. Just because somone knows how to care for animals doesn't mean that they will.
    You if you care for animals (and you obviously do) you can do no more for their wellbeing than you are already doing. Keep it up.
     
  3. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    18,913
    Likes Received:
    15,691
    I have been into a school and also Brownies to give a talk on dog care and training.
    A lot of schools used to have classroom pets but I suppose it isnt allowed any more. It is also not so easy to pop into a school to give a talk as you need to be police checked and I dont suppose you would be allowed to take an animal in because of health and safety. Kids lives are so sanitised now it is not surprising they dont know how to behave around animals.
     
  4. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    20,493
    Likes Received:
    20,396
    I agree completely with you!

    I'm a Kiwi and I know back home there is some of this stuff going on - the SPCA for instance have education people who go around schools (SPCA has a much better reputation there than the RSPCA do here). I know schools definitely work with kids on how to be safe around dogs, and it's fairly common for dogs to be in primary schools - I came across this lovely article recently Primary school is a dog's life | Stuff.co.nz.

    Anyway, I agree with you that the key is education, and that children need a chance to learn about animals in a hands-on way - I think a lot of children (mainly due to their parents!) fear animals and don't understand that they have feelings and needs like people do.

    How you would go about this I'm not sure. CRB checks are a real pain (I have had to have 4 done in the past year!), but I don't think you would necessarily need one to go into a school and talk, so long as you were supervised by the teacher. No idea about bringing animals into schools though.

    I guess it depends how big you're thinking. It seems fairly unlikely that you would be able to get a change in the curriculum, however, I definitely think that an organisation could be set up with regards to this, although I think the key is actually getting friendly animals into classrooms - without this it's all just talk.

    I think it's great that you feel so strongly about this and are prepared to do something about it. You have my vote :thumbup1: and I would love to help if I can!
     
  5. Pets_R_Me:)

    Pets_R_Me:) Guest

    Youth groups may be a good place to start, almost like a 'pilot project'. Maybe getting in touch with local Girl Guide, Boys Brigade,Scout groups etc. to see if they will incorporate it into their plans. I used to volunteer for the Girl Guides and if the rest are like my group, I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

    Letters and emails is a good way to go too. However, I sent an email to all the candidates in my area for the Scottish elections about the DDA, and have yet to receive a reply!!! :mad:
     
  6. Milliepoochie

    Milliepoochie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    10,128
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    I can see why it would be a good idea but I dont think its something which has any chance of going through local government / education authorities at this current time, relistically schools are pretty busy trying to get all pupils out with a decent qualification in Maths, English and Science.

    Most would use the argument that they dont have time. (There must be a teacher on this forum lol who can give an opinion form the horses mouth as such!)

    Most schools dont even have any sort of class pet as the teachers are scared of what can go wrong. At the school my OH works at they only have goldfish in one classroom. (My goldfish which I donated to them).

    It sounds like soemthing which would be more approachable through Youth Groups / Girl Guidingd groups or Scouts.

    It's really sad though as this should really be common sense to people. :mad:
     
  7. dobermummy

    dobermummy Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,761
    Likes Received:
    187
    its such a good idea, i would love to get involved with something like that :)
     
  8. Pets_R_Me:)

    Pets_R_Me:) Guest

    It used to be part of the Scottish Curriculum, but I can;t seem to find or remember if it is part of the new Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. However, with a bit of research, I am sure we can find an area of the curriculums on offer that animal care will fit into.
     
  9. casandra

    casandra PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,213
    Likes Received:
    82
    Therapy Dogs go into schools to help children with learning difficulties, I am particularly fond of the reading projects, where children get to read to the therapy dogs. :) If you went through the Therapy Dog organizations, that might be a better option, as these dogs are trained to a certain degree and they require you to supply references (personal and vet etc) but I would happily supply my CRB alongside those. :)

    It would be better to have a dog that has been assessed and trained to be calm and docile around children in these situations in my opinion, rather than having no animal present. Animals help children (in particular, the younger children) to focus more.
     
  10. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17,496
    Likes Received:
    556
    Surely they can bung it in with 'Citizenship'? All we ever did was drugs this drugs that the law states you are responsible for your own actions at 10 etc. I think it'd be better to replace half of that with animaly stuff :)
     
  11. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,597
    Likes Received:
    480
    Blue Cross also do educational visits to schools to teach them about good animal care. I think its a good idea and think many kids could also do with being taught how to behave around dogs, too many rush up to unknown dogs trying to stroke them and their parents either think its acceptable or up to dog owners to fend them off its its a problem.
     
  12. northnsouth

    northnsouth PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    6,286
    Likes Received:
    277
    When my daughter was at primary school, (year 4 or 5) they did do a project on animal care. My daughter was awarded a recommendation for hers and won a prize. I was holding a weekly Art/Craft class with the younger children, so was well known in the school. As part of the work and research the children conducted, I took some of our pets in to school. A rabbit, a GP, and our BC, were all taken in to school for a show and tell.The collie always came to school to meet the kids, for fetes and everything, so most the kids knew him any way. It was held in the quiet garden area and it was one of the nicest things that I was asked to do. I will never get over the pride my daughter showed when her class mates, 2 at a time, came to see and be told about her pets. She even showed them how to groom the BC and some of the training exercises we used. :DxFunny when ever she meets her old teachers or school friends they are never surprised she became a VN.

    I wonder if now, in this OTT period of political correctness and H&S regulations,I would be allowed to do this??? As I still would offer my time to do so..
     
  13. jetsmum

    jetsmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    14,708
    Likes Received:
    1,979
    Thank you for your replies, that's brilliant.
    I had a strange thought last night and I don't know if it makes sense to anyone else.I was just wondering how many kids don't realise that animals are living and breathing .With toys that are so realistic, I've ben fooled a couple of times - it could be possible that some kids who spend so much of their day shooting and blowing things up in cyber space,don't know the differance.
    There was a kiddie who shot another awhile ago, (I'm sorry the full details escape me right now) Who when questioned by the police said something along the lines of, I thought he'd come back,they always do in the games.
    I know to a rational thinking adult that sounds silly, but maybe there are kids that think that way. If they hurt a dog or cat, it'll be ok, they'll come back like in the games.
    Just a thought.
    I'm out for most of the day now, but I'll pick this back up as soon as I can.
     
  14. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,164
    Likes Received:
    119
    After reading the OP I thought this:

    1) Its a great idea
    2) It would work best not as something schools implement as an hour a week (because I think this would be near impossible to achieve), but as a separate institution where people go in to give talks in school in the same format as when police send an officer to go through 'stranger danger'.
    3) I think it'd work best in primary schools who often set aside afternoons for these types of workshops
    4) It could include practical topics such as how children dropping litter affects the animals around them, and outline animal rights etc
     
  15. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    20,493
    Likes Received:
    20,396
    The other thing to remember is that just because something is in the curriculum it doesn't mean that schools will teach it well. I was a music teacher in a past life and even though music is part of the curriculum, in some schools singing a song in assembly was about the most music they did!

    I think it's definitely better having an outside agency to go into schools. At least then you have some control over what actually gets taught.

    I agree primary schools are best. Like the idea of a pilot program using guides etc., but in the long run the kids who are in such groups may not be the kids that really need this sort of education.

    Personally I think a whole lot more 'global citizenship' stuff needs to be taught in schools. How much are our kids being taught about the plight of the many endangered animals over the world, the effects of deforestation, the general negative impact that people are having on the world.... But that's a whole other issue! :eek:
     
  16. franob

    franob PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've just finished my 3 years of teacher training - primary - and am an animal lover. Your enthusiasm is great and I am a HUGE believer in education being about social skills as much as academic knowledge. However here are my thoughts -

    1) An hour a week for animal studies - that is totally unrealistic in terms of time. Most children in primary schools won't have an hour of RE or PSHE or music or even history or geography..... need I go on?

    2) An hour a week of animal studies - what would you teach for an hour a week for the 7 years of primary school, even without including secondary? Vets spend less hours in training than that totalled up. There just isn't enough content - without totally drumming the same stuff in week after week, which will turn the kids off completely and be counterproductive.

    3) It IS actually taught in schools. Many schools now use a 'topic' based approach to plan their termly curriculum and often there are animal themes that tie together ALL curriculum subjects, meaning that there is a great deal of exposure. This will be increasing due to the way the curriculum is heading under the coalition gov't. Even in the traditional National Curriculum animal topics/ welfare are taught through science and through PHSE +C (Personal, health and social education and citizenship). Yes, certain schools and teachers will teach this better/worse than others - just like certain children will respond better/worse to the teaching of it. Many schools have groups come in to talk to the children and many teachers will bring in their own pets (I take in my ferrets whenever possible and will take in my new dog when it is appropriate).

    4) I also run Girl Guiding units and have had in people from various animal organisations to talk to the girls, as have most units I know. There are several badges that relate to pets, wildlife and responsible behaviour around animals. So this does happen also.

    I hate the over sanitised and risk adverse way families are now raising children BUT actually that is about educating the adults! My ferrets were in school with me yesterday - I had NO children say 'ewwww' or mention bitey smelly animals - but plenty of parents side stepped them until their kids dragged them over!

    My advice would be to join one of the animal groups that do outreach or PR work, local or national charities, rescues or the like. The more people who are out there at school fetes, outside pet centres etc the more FAMILIES and adults you will encounter and can educate.

    Just a note on McKenzie's point - although often outside agencies have a good impact that isn't always the case - you may have some control over what is taught BUT I personally have seen incredibly varied delivery and THAT is what is important - you can have the greatest content in the world but if it is delivered in a dull and uninspiring way or without basic class and behaviour management then it is of no use whatsoever. Not all teachers are amazing but at least they are trained and more likely to be able to teach than someone 'off the street'.

    I hope this didn't sound negative - I think it is easy to say this should be happening in schools, but it really is. Adult education is what is missing possibly due to this not being tackled in schools many years ago - I don't remember much in the 80's/90's myself and the odd class hamster that was fast asleep doesn't really count!
     
    #16 franob, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  17. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,280
    Likes Received:
    63
    When a lot of kids are leaving school without basic numeracy and literacy skills, I doubt they'd entertain the idea at all. What would be great would be dog visits to schools and educational visits to farms etc. try and incorporate teaching children how rewarding and precious animals are in to the curriculum.
     
  18. Jackie99

    Jackie99 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,245
    Likes Received:
    226
    I think it would be a really fantastic addition to childrens education and have been saying so for a long time :)
     
  19. jetsmum

    jetsmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    14,708
    Likes Received:
    1,979
    Such a lot of great ideas, I'm sure between us we can pull those ideas together and form a plan. Maybe join up with an organisation that's already up and running, start our own. What do you think best?
     
  20. Eroswoof

    Eroswoof Guest

    I'll happily go and do something if we can get it set up and such somehow - I'm useless with the practicalities though :lol:

    Em
    xx
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice