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Addressing the Gaps in Humane Education Research and Training

The State of Humane Education in the U.S.

The Institute for Human-Animal Connection in collaboration with the Humane Education Coalition is assessing the state of humane education in K-12 schools in the United States. Humane Education is a pedagogy that takes a systems approach to creating a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world for the health and well-being of people, animals, and the natural environment. Currently, 18 states mandate the teaching of humane education in their schools, however, each of these states has different guiding language for what humane education is and how it is taught, and no standardized way to train teachers. In other states, humane education occurs in some schools and in some free-choice learning environments. Through a survey, this project will create a baseline snap-shot of the state of humane education in the 2018-2019 school year to serve as reference in the future about the improved status of the incorporation of humane education in U.S. educational settings.

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Comprehensive Humane Education

A new study was launched by IHAC in the Fall of 2020 that uses the qualitative grounded theory method to synthesize data from semi-structured interviews with humane education experts and participants in humane education practitioner training programs. This aim of this study is to lay groundwork for future studies to measure proximal and distal outcomes of humane education programs.

Importance of Postitive Interactions with Companion Animals to Prevent Mistreatment

The research team had been concerned that the COVID-19 outbreak, a zoonotic disease, may have an impact on attitudes toward other animals in China. It was found that previous contact with companion animals positively predicted all aspects of attitudes toward animals in participants during the initial outbreak of COVID-19.The findings provide evidence for the importance of positive interactions with companion animals and people’s attitudes toward animals to prevent mistreatment of other species when emergencies occur. The findings also expand the limited empirical research on human–animal relations in non-Western countries.

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