Animal Awareness in Thai School curriculum
Animal welfare education promotes and develops children in many fields and levels. It touches many important aspects of childrens’ education, instilling knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values in life. As a values-based education, Animal Awareness Education teaches f.ex. the following sections:
- Develop sensitivity to all life – appreciation to diversity and tolerance of difference.
- Encourages children to be more compassionate – and learn to live with greater respect for everyone
- Develops a sense of awe, responsibility and duty of care for the natural world and their environment.
- Empowers children to make decisions as responsible world citizens by contributing to the development of children’s attitude and critical thinking.
Animal Awareness Education combines with many of the goals in Thai curriculum:
The Basic Education Core Curriculum is aimed at the full development of learners in all respects——morality, wisdom, happiness, and potentiality for further education and livelihood. The following goals have consequently been set for achievement upon completing basic education:
1. Morality, ethics, desirable values, self-esteem, self-discipline, observance of Buddhist teachings or those of one’s faith, and guiding principles of Sufficiency Economy;
2. Knowledge and skills for communication, thinking, problem-solving, technological know-how, and life skills;
3. Good physical and mental health, hygiene, and preference for physical exercise;
4. Patriotism, awareness of responsibilities and commitment as Thai citizens and members of the world community, and adherence to a democratic way of life and form of government under constitutional monarchy; and
5. Awareness of the need to preserve all aspects of Thai culture and Thai wisdom, protection and conservation of the environment, and public-mindedness with dedication to public service for peaceful and harmonious co-existence.
Humane Education also involves learning experiences in Communication Capacity, Thinking Capacity, Problem-Solving Capacity and in Capacity for Applying Life Skills.
Lessons can be corporated around several topics in curriculum, including but not restricted only to:
Science; Living Things and Life Processes, Life and the Environment
Understanding of the basic units of living things; relationship between structures and functions of various systems of living things which are interlinked; having investigative process for seeking knowledge; ability to communicate acquired knowledge, which could be applied to one’s life and care for living things. Understanding of local environment; relationship between the environment and living things; relationship between living things in the eco-system.
Social Studies, Religion and Culture
Civics, Culture and Living in Society
Understanding and personal conduct in accord with duties and responsibilities of good citizens; observance and preservation of Thai tradition and culture; and enjoying peaceful coexistence in Thai society and the world community
Health and Physical Education
Safety in Life
Prevention and avoidance of risk factors, behaviours detrimental to health, and accidents; use of medicines; addictive substances and violence.
Language and Relationship with Other Learning Areas
Standard F3.1: Using foreign languages to link knowledge with other learning areas and as foundation for further development, to seek knowledge and widen one’s world view.
What are the main AWE learning outcomes?
Animal Awareness is not only about dogs, although Care for Dogs’ educational programs are more focused on dogs and cats as common companion animals. We aim to give the children insight in following topics:
- To know that animals have needs.
- To know that we share our environment with other living beings.
- To understand that human actions can affect animals and other living beings.
- To understand we are frequently faced with moral dilemmas and that people hold different opinions.
People’s attitudes and behaviour towards animals overlap with their attitudes and behaviour towards each other. A project in America has found that in classrooms where students are taught to respect animals and the environment, they all show greater respect for each other. We can instill respect and caring attitude towards all living being through Animal Awareness Education.
Humane education not only instills the desire and capacity to live with compassion, integrity, and wisdom, but also provides the knowledge and tools to put our values into action in meaningful, far-reaching ways.
Humane education enables us to find solutions that work for all by approaching human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection as interconnected and integral dimensions of a healthy, just society.