Companion animals in Indiana elementary schools

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This descriptive study examines data on the presence of pets in elementary classrooms in a sample of rural, suburban, and urban elementary school classrooms in Indiana, and suggests a rich area for researchers interested in human–animal interactions in school settings. A convenience sample of rural, suburban, and urban teachers was compiled from the state department of education's database, and surveys were sent to 2,149 teachers in 115 schools. More than 25% of the responding teachers' classrooms contained a variety of animals, mostly small vertebrates. Teachers used animals to provide enjoyment and hands-on educational experiences for students. This article extends similar classroom research by Zasloff, Hart and DeArmond (1999). The educational value of classroom animals is not often appreciated or studied, and the results of this study suggest this is a productive area for interdisciplinary research.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2003

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