Book review: Tails From the Classroom

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There is a growing interest in bringing animals into the classroom, as well as in therapeutic interventions. In this book, the authors bring together research and information about how Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI’s) can have a positive impact on the behavioural, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children and young people. 

Chapters include: ‘Tales with feelings: animals and their impact on children’s emotional development’, ‘Tales of adventure: animals and their impact on children’s wellbeing and development’, ‘Cautionary tales: considering the practicalities and ethics of animal-assisted education’ and ‘Tales of ‘the dog in the playground’: making the most of dogs in schools’.

The book also includes an example of a weekly planning sheet and a risk assessment form. 

Throughout the book, the authors use the term AAI’s to cover various schemes and initiatives and they provide information about the main providers and the goals of the interventions. 

This is a publication that uses real-life case studies from a range of classroom contexts. It includes practical advice, as well as extensive referencing and links to further reading.

For any school considering introducing an AAI dimension to the curriculum, this will be a source of guidance. It is aimed at educators working with all ages and provides a deeper understanding of setting up and evaluating a project, as well as the long term commitments this might involve. 

Authors: H. Lewis & R. Grigg, Publishers: Crown House Publishing Limited, ISBN: 978-1-178583505-6, £16.99. Purchase the book here. For more books about development, click here and here.

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