Well-Being and Human-Animal Interactions in Schools: The Case of Dog Daycare Co-OpReport as inadecuate

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Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice, v24 n2 p60-73 Spr 2015

This study draws on Martha Nussbaum's (2000) account of the nature of human well-being in order to explore the role of animals in formal education settings. Nussbaum's capabilities approach identifies the ability "to have concern for and live with other animals, plants and the environment" (p. 80) as a necessary component for well-being. Yet, this condition of well-being remains largely unexplored in education despite research that suggests many potential social and health benefits of dog-human interaction. This paper describes the effects of a unique, Canadian school-based cooperative education program in which students work with animals for high school credit. The qualitative research design is based on interviews, students' own stories of the impact of animal interaction--particularly in light of other challenges they faced academically and socially. Research results, support other empirical accounts of positive effects of animals in education settings, and offer insight into the nature of human-animal interaction as a component of well-being within a vocationally-oriented program.

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Well Being, Animals, Interaction, High School Students, Cooperative Learning, Qualitative Research, Interviews, Vocational Education, Friendship, Learner Engagement

Brock University Faculty of Educatino. 500 Glenridge Avenue, Saint Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1 Canada. Tel: 905-688-5550 ext. 3733; e-mail: brocked[at]brocku.ca; Web site: http://brocked.ed.brocku.ca

Author: Pinto, Laura Elizabeth; Foulkes, Donna

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=952&id=EJ1080024

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