education

A Fracture in the Snow Sheet: The invisibility of animals in outdoor learning research

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Date presented: 
Saturday 23 November 2019
Event name: 
Slapton Research Seminar
Abstract

Outdoor learning has traditionally been associated with using the natural environment as a mechanism for not only developing and enhancing behavioural characteristics such as confidence and resilience, but also in more recent times perhaps, as a means of developing a greater understanding of the natural world and therefore, promoting a greater sense of its curation.
The increasing interest in outdoor learning, both nationally and internationally, has facilitated a significant body of research work. Since 2000, two of the leading peer-reviewed journals in outdoor learning, have published nearly 1000 research papers (approximately one a week). Research to inform the development and effectiveness of outdoor learning appears to concentrate primarily on relationships within and between the student/s and the natural environment. Popular topic areas include initiatives such as Forest Schools and the taught programmes of outdoor, or field studies, centres. It is interesting to note that only one paper in nineteen years of research in these two journals, deals with animals.
At a time when the Care Farm movement and animal assisted therapies are playing an increasingly important role in education and social support, animals are curiously absent from the research literature. Papers review ‘nature therapies’ and the important benefits to be gained by people being in the natural environment, but animals seem quite invisible within those environments.
Starting from this position, the presentation will initially explore the elusive nature of animal-human relationships. It will then explore the reasons why both outdoor and environmental education emphasise on the importance of ‘place’, yet when the living environment is considered, it is more likely to be the floristic rather than the faunal. It concludes by exploring the efficacy of a more animal centred approach for promoting compassionate education and thereby enhancing the proposed, deeper, aims of environmental and outdoor learning.

The Contribution of Blended Learning in the Promotion of Farm Animal Welfare

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Date presented: 
Thursday 19 September 2019
Abstract

In Western industrialised nations, within the domain of education and training, digital is now the default, where emerging technologies have increased connectedness to such a degree that they have driven a significant transformation in pedagogical methodologies. This is primarily due to the ease of access to smartphones and other connected personal devices. As a result, the constraints of location and time are no longer great barriers to learning, with learning possible to access in any mode and almost in any place and at any time. For geographically large countries such as China, these technologies can link the national to the international, connect city to city and the urban to the rural.

This paper will review existing blended learning approaches and how technology has influenced pedagogical approaches to teaching and training around animal welfare. A key component in the design of online learning resources is that it facilitates active design, production and of content. This can be shared in numerous formats, including text, images, sound, video, and online seminars and discussions, all of which are easily disseminated to potentially huge audiences. Such a ‘connected pedagogy’ also relies on establishing an environment that is characterised by meaningful engagement, problem-based learning, and peer-evaluation. The paper will review the approaches to be adopted by the Donkey Sanctuary on its learning platform and will demonstrate the design and implementation of and learning and training resources with specific reference to animal welfare and biosecurity.

The presentation concludes by placing animal welfare within the context of formal, moral education in China and how the philosophical and historical influences of Confucianism and Socialism have presented, as a key component, the maintenance of harmony between living and natural environments. This has made China an active promoter of sustainable development, an aspiration to which blended learning has much to contribute.

The extension and education methods implemented for sustaining the health and welfare of working donkeys in India

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Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

In India the majority of donkeys are used as pack animals to carry sand, gravel, debris and bricks especially in brick kilns and also goods up the hill in pilgrimage places. Like many of the developing countries the donkeys working in India suffer tremendous abuse, injury and pain. Harness wounds and lameness are common due to improper harness, overloading and lack of knowledge about care and management among the owners. This paper discusses the extension methods that were used and found to be effective with an aim to improve the condition of the donkeys, help them become wound free and prevent suffering. The donkey owners were given practical lessons on how to fit a harness properly, donuts (circular protectors), padding materials and how to make good U-shaped back protectors. A video film was made for this purpose and shown to the owners. Distributing soft cotton hobbles made from fabric waste prevented the hobble wounds. Re-homing abandoned donkeys to good owners and rewarding the owners for best-kept donkeys has encouraged the owners to keep their donkeys in good condition, wound free and fit. Distribution of hoof picks (modified screw drivers) encouraged owners to pick out donkeys' feet regularly to prevent lameness due to puncture wounds and hoof abscesses caused by thorns and sharp objects. Enthusiastic owners were picked and given training in basic donkey care. Efforts were taken to promote correct treatments and also encourage the use of readily available natural herbal products. A cartoon film, study materials in the form of pictures and cartoons were used to evoke interest among the donkey owner's children in basic donkey care. Public awareness included distributing storybooks, leaflets, organising camps at local agricultural and equine fairs and publishing articles in newspapers. A marked improvement in the donkeys' status, health, condition and owners care for their donkey has become a reality due to the implementation of extension and education activities.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2010

Empathy education about working animals in primary schools of central Ethiopia

Citation

G. Lemessa, Alemayehu Fanta, E. Bojia, B. Amare, Mersha Tesfaye, S. J. Price, Stephen Blakeway. 29 November 2010. Empathy education about working animals in primary schools of central Ethiopia. Presented at 6th International Colloquium on Working Equids. (29 November - 2 December 2010). New Delhi, India.

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Date presented: 
Monday 29 November 2010
Abstract

The Donkey Sanctuary in Ethiopia launched an empathy education programme at 7 primary schools in 2005, to nurture school children's empathy with working animals. The objective of the programme was to enhance the ability of schoolchildren to build smooth relationships and positive attitudes towards animals, resulting in the creation of responsible citizens who are compassionate, kind, and love and have empathy with all animals. To show empathy is to identify with another's feelings. It is to put yourself emotionally in the place of another.

Proceedings
Publication date: 
31 December 2010
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