Professionally Evaluated One-year Pilot Project
Getting Humane Education into the Curriculum
Many animal protection organizations across the world carry out Humane Education programs, but the vast majority of these take place outside the formal school curriculum (for example, at ‘after school’ clubs) or as ad hoc talks to students. Very few countries have included Humane Education issues within the curriculum. Yet this is undoubtedly the best way to ensure thorough and widespread Humane Education programs. It is also a real possibility, particularly in existing curriculum areas, such as Life Skills.
This takes effective advocacy – which means building relationships and trust with the education authorities and providing strong evidence on the need for Humane Education and its beneficial impacts. The latter can be proved by a pilot project which incorporates professional Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).
Despite this, few animal protection organizations have professionally evaluated their Humane Education programs.
This is why World Animal Net (WAN) developed this pilot program: To provide professional and well documented evidence of the value of Humane Education across a number of areas of importance to educators (and society more generally); and to provide the lessons and evaluation tools necessary for other organizations to replicate the project in their own countries.
Value of Humane Education
WAN is convinced of the value of Humane Education for working at the very roots of animal cruelty and neglect. But its impacts go far wider than this, as our pilot project has demonstrated through its professionally-conducted and thorough evaluation.
Not only did the pilot result in “statistically significant gains in students' humane attitudes”, with 88% of students saying that participating in the activities changed their attitudes toward animals. But a remarkable 90% said that their attitudes toward the environment were affected, and 86% said that the activities changed their attitudes toward people. These results were generally supported by mean gains in the Compassion/Happiness Index, a 60-item inventory of students' humane attitudes.
Teachers reported that participating in the WAN program resulted in improved student behavior and social skills, enhanced compassion for animals, and promoted respect for nature and the environment.
According to teachers, the top five impacts of participating in the lessons on students were:
- Improved school attendance - 78% of teachers said that the pilot project definitely contributed to enhanced student attendance in school.
- Improved levels of care and compassion for animals - 75% of teachers said pilot project participation enhanced the levels of care and compassion for animals among their students.
- Strengthened the level of respect and awareness for nature and the environment - 72% of teachers said that participating in the lessons enhanced students' levels of respect and awareness for nature and the environment.
- Improved learners’ social skills - 69% of teachers said that the pilot project enhanced how students interact with classmates.
- Improved the level of kindness and compassion in the class - 59% of teachers said that participating in the lessons improved the level of kindness and compassion in their classes.
These are all vitally important impacts for teachers and education authorities. Thus, they can be used as effective evidence for inclusion of Humane Education in school curriculums.
Here are links to major documents from the Humane Education pilot project:
- Humane Education Pilot Project: Background & Experiences
- Humane Education Final Evaluation Report (PDF)
- Introductory Teachers Guide, together with full lesson plans (PDF)
M & E Documents:
- Educator Lesson Feedback (Excel Spreadsheet)
- Monthly HE Interview Form (PDF)
- Student Questionnaire (PDF)
- Teacher Assessment (Excel Spreadsheet)
- Post Teacher Feedback (PDF)
- Reflection Questions (PDF)
- WAN Evaluation Plan (an overview of the M&E system) (PDF)