University of Oulu

Animal-assisted pedagogy : human-animal bond, developmental benefits and practical considerations

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Author: Engelbrecht, Marjana1; Jääskö, Iida1; Kivimäki, Hanna1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Pages: 44
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Engelbrecht; I. Jääskö; H. Kivimäki, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-12
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis


In recent years, animal-assisted pedagogy (AAP) has gained more attention both in the media and in the educational field. Some schools and libraries have seemed to include animals as a common support in the learning process. This has sparked interest also in educational research, and thus the effects of animals as a part of education have been studied more closely. For this reason, we aim to provide insight to AAP with a literature review that explores this topic from the points of view of human-animal bond, the developmental benefits, and the practical considerations related to it. In addition, we aspire to challenge our own views of AAP and discuss how it might be brought into practice.

Based on our research, the human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial relationship that takes place between a human and an animal. Its significance in society and the multitude of benefits it offers, provide a good foundation from which to view AAP. Implementing AAP positively affects the social and emotional competences and motivation of students by the support of the comfort of the animal’s presence, which enables positive experiences and interactions. The animals help to create a safe space that allows the students to feel more confident and secure, and as a result the motivation of learning increases. However, it appears that applying AAP to practice is quite challenging due to the amount of limitations and consideration of bringing an animal into a working environment. For example, allergies, fears and lack of resources may dictate whether it is possible for an educator to practice AAP.

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Copyright information: © Marjana Engelbrecht; Iida Jääskö; Hanna Kivimäki, 2021. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.