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The campus community is invited to attend “How Animals Help Students Learn” on Thursday, August 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the Grupp Fireside Lounge.  Presented by the master’s program in anthrozoology, the lecture features Nancy R. Gee, PhD, professor and the WALTHAM Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) Research Manager in SUNY Fredonia’s Department of Psychology.

Dr. Gee will discuss the ways in which animals commonly have a presence in classrooms at all levels of education—from preschool to university. Young children often share their classroom with a small pet, such as a fish or hamster. In some classrooms, therapy dogs listen to children practice their reading. Older students may improve their observational skills by documenting the behaviors of animals at a zoo or in a laboratory. The presence of animals in educational environments facilitates learning in a variety of ways, such as capturing students’ attention, motivating them to focus on their learning, facilitating empathy development, and enhancing psychological well-being.

This presentation will summarize what is known about how animals help students learn:  What works and how?  The lecture will also include the animal side of the equation and practical recommendations for safe and effective implementation of animal involvement in educational settings.

Submitted by: Christy Hoffman, program director, Anthrozoology