Tails from the Classroom: Learning and teaching through animal-assisted interventions (AAIs), written by Dr Helen Lewis of Swansea University School of Education and Dr Russell Grigg, is a fascinating exploration of the use of AAIs in educational settings and how they can inspire and support learners’ all-round development.
There is growing interest in the idea of bringing animals into the classroom, but it is only recently that researchers have gathered clear data to show the impact of AAIs on the behavioural, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children and young people.
Tails from the Classroom brings together this research in a highly accessible way, illustrated with real-life case studies from a range of classroom contexts. It also includes lots of practical guidance on how to set up, manage and evaluate a project, ensuring that the welfare of all participants, including the animals, is a priority.
Helen and Russell discuss how AAIs can contribute towards learning in different subject areas and across the curriculum, sharing a wide range of examples to illustrate possible starting points for teachers in a range of subject and thematic contexts – even in less obvious areas such as the arts, literature, and religious and moral codes.
They also provide a historical overview of human–animal interactions, highlighting how animals have played a central part in humans’ social, spiritual and cultural development. This then underpins the authors’ exploration into animals’ potential role in enhancing particular dimensions of children’s social, emotional, intellectual and physical development and well-being.
This groundbreaking book is not just for animal-loving educators, however. It is for anyone who is serious about inspiring learners of all ages and prepared to explore new ways of doing so. Suitable for educators working with learners of all ages.
Tails from the Classroom: Learning and teaching through animal-assisted interventions is available to purchase from Crown House Publishing here.