The most loyal friends

Dog is one of the most popular pets and it can be found in many families. The positive effect of communication between children and dogs has been noticed by parents, educators and researchers. Why don’t we introduce dogs into schools then? Somebody will think it is a crazy idea, but there are schools which already use “dogs’ help” for educational purposes. The experience of “Dogs Helping Kids” charity will be outlined here as a successful introduction of dogs into educational environment.

Dogs Helping Kids is a charity organization in the United Kingdom preparing dogs for work in schools and colleges. DHK dogs can be very helpful on their workplaces as classroom assistances. So what benefits do pupils, teachers and parents gain from dogs’ presence in school? Communication with them increases students’ academic achievements, raises their confidence and helps children to cope with stress. All animals are well trained and prepared for particular role. So called “classroom canines” walk around the room during classes; they calm down pupils who feel anxiety and tie all classmates together as a team. It might be considered by some parents as not safety and distracting to have a dog in the classroom. However, results of researches show that presence of dog fortifies children’s active participation in class.

reading-in-libraryreading.png

There are some children who are faced with problems in reading, performing in front of the classroom, speaking loudly during discussions. These pupils are lucky to have “listening canines” who are always ready to sit close to the child and listen to him/her. They don’t judge; they don’t criticize; they don’t laugh at. The feeling of confidence is rising in children and they improve reading and writing skills. This practice of reading aloud is crucially important for pupils in primary school. It is significant to develop such practices in different schools and share knowledge with institutions in other countries.

Dogs in education can be considered not only as assistances, but also as rewards. Pupils can play and train with “reward canines” during the break if they showed excellent and outstanding results in classes. Moreover, there are “therapy canines” helping children with psychological problems. These dogs usually spend time with one child, because working in group can be found difficult.

in library.png training.png

All in all, I want to conclude that the role of animals in children’s life is underestimated. Of course, there can be some problems with dogs in schools, like allergies to wool or fear of dogs in general. Smart leadership can overcome all these issues and find a way to success. I am interested in getting your opinions, dear readers. Do you agree that dogs in schools can be very helpful for pupils and can improve students’ results? Could this practice be useful in Kazakhstani schools? If your children will attend school with dogs assistances, what will be your attitude?

References:

Photo credits: http://www.dogshelpingkids.co.uk/

Dogs Helping Kids. http://www.dogshelpingkids.co.uk/

Jalongo, M. R. (2005). “What Are All These Dogs Doing at School?” Using Therapy Dogs to Promote Children’s Reading Practice. Childhood Education, 81(3), 152.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The most loyal friends

  1. You must have known I would love this topic, Alina (5/5). I 100% agree that dogs are the best pets in the world. The links and sources are helpful in adding a visual component, and supporting your ideas.

    Take a look at your article usage throughout the post. Usually when we talk about a category of things (bananas, students, dogs), we use the plural noun without an article.

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  2. Alina, the blog post is amazing! It is so nice to see that animals help children feel more confident and even overcome some phycological problems! I believe, that in general, we need more nature in the educational process. Children sit in their classrooms for many hours, they do not see what is happening outside the window. Of course, taking into account weather conditions in winter in Astana it is not always possible for children to enjoy the nature outside, but greenhouses and other animals except for dogs also can add some variety to schools environment. Taking care of other living things would teach children responsibility and kindness. What do you think about it?

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    1. Dear, Masha!
      I am happy that you liked my blog post. Yes, I agree that bringing pets in school environment will make pupils more responsible. Great deal of attention should be paid on the selection of animal species. As Mr. Montgomery has mentioned dogs are the best pets. To my opinion, these animals can easily live and work with people. The choice of other pets as school assistances should be made very carefully in order to not to harm neither children, nor animals.

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  3. Dear Alina,

    The topic of your choice is awesome! There is an organization called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ), that use reading dogs. Dogs are specially trained serving the role of classroom reading tutors. They assist children with their quiet presence. Your blog reminded me this organization. The good thing is that dogs help children in fostering particular skills, such as speaking or reading. I would love to be involved in that atmosphere. Dogs are the true friends that can feel your inner world. I love them.Thank you for this positive blog!

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