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THE IMPACT OF THE ANIMALS ON CHILDREN'S LEARNING AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT - A STUDY OF WHAT CHILDREN LEARN FROM AND WITH PETS: THE EXEMPLE OF DOG AND CAT

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Agneta Simeonsdotter Svensson
Publicerad i Problems of Education in the 21st Century
Volym 59
Sidor 77-85
ISSN 1822-7864
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande
Sidor 77-85
Språk en
Länkar journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstra...
Ämnesord animal, children, development, preschool learning
Ämneskategorier Utbildningsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

The purpose of this study is to produce knowledge about the impact of pets on preschool children's desire to learn and their development. The research question asked is: What do children learn from and with pets? Socio-cultural theories and developmental pedagogy are used in order to study children’s learning in the preschool. The socio-cultural theories are based on a model describing interactions between people presented by Vygotskij (1978) and further developed by Säljö (2011). This study employed a qualitative exploratory research method with the aim of gaining knowledge concerning a group of 24 children, aged 4-5 years. Individual interviews were used as the method of data collection. The results are presented as two main categories: 1) The pet supports the child in their learning and development process 2) The child is the teacher of the pet. Each main category comprised two subcategories: 1a) Developing empathy and emotions, 1b) Being good at school-related tasks, 2a) Teaching the pet playful exercises, 2b) Teaching the pet to obey. The results show that pets provide children with positive experiences and a sense of feeling good. The children said that they could talk to all the animals and that the animals are listened. When a child is doing activities with an animal or tries to teach an animal some exercises, the child receives a response from the animal. This leads on to new experiences and an increased knowledge regarding social behavior. Using pets for educational purposes in the home, preschool and school, might stimulate an interest in animal care and a commitment to in the world´s wildlife and fauna in general.

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