The Animal Protection Trust considers the propagation of the ideas of animal protection through education as one of its priorities and means of fulfilling its mission. This is as well one of the reasons why does this field fall among its most crucial activities and also a reason why a separate section on the webpages is being maintained.
This section, informing not only about the educational activities of the Trust itself, but also about other activities concerning the education of the humane approach to animals – including activities of other organizations (foreign ones as well), gives basic orientation in the area, overview and the offer of the most interesting materials, educational projects and educational events in progress. It serves as an information channel which is not only providing those interested with information, but also encourages them to seek the needed information independently using our large database of local and foreign organizations devoted to the education of the humane approach to animals or to their protection.
The section is currently intended mainly for the pedagogical staff of nurseries and elementary schools and for their pupils. With the use of interesting themes and educational activities concerning all sorts of animals, they are invited and inspired to integrate the animal protection topic into the education process and into daily life. Inside the section, the teachers can find well arranged factography for every relevant area of animal protection and ways of connecting with the new curriculum programme which will replace the old curriculum in 2007.
Among others, the section will be gradually addressing the general and the professional public and expanding its content with educational projects and activities in the secondary and tertiary education and additional education of specialized staff.
At the end of 2005, The Animal Protection Trust and Pavučina - Association of Ecology Education Centres finished collaboration on the first part of a long-term educational project called “Cultivation, enlightenment and education in the area of animal protection”.
Project “Cultivation, enlightenment and education in the area of animal protection”
On the 31st December 2005, The Net (Pavučina) - Association of Ecology Education Centres in the collaboration with The Animal Protection Trust Institute completed nearly three year long project “Cultivation, enlightenment and education in the area of animal protection”. The purpose of the project was to teach mostly children and young people to understand animals’ needs and to treat animals humanely.
The objective of this project, financed by The Trust, is to integrate the animal protection topic into the elementary school curriculum using these ways:
1. Creation of a handbook (methodology) for pedagogues and worksheets for the pupils in the second degree of elementary school.
2. Organizing educational seminars for animal protection instructors who will than be passing on the knowledge to the teachers and also training them to use the handbook in the class.
3. One-off propagation of the animal protection in the form of a thematic issue of the “Bedrník” – an ecology education magazine for schools (August 2004) and an information leaflet for teachers (sent to schools in December 2005).
The Net and The Trust have together organized five seminars for animal protection instructors:
The first seminar took place in the “Podblanické ekocentrum ČSOP (Czech Union for Nature Conservation) Vlašim“ ecocenter in March 2004. The topic of the seminar was ”Protection of the wild animals and wild animals bred in captivity”. We welcomed two representatives from the British organization RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) as our guests.
The second seminar took place at Toulcův dvůr (Prague ecocenter) in October 2004. The importance of the “Protection and correct breeding of pet animals and protection of laboratory animals” topic was further supported by the lecture of David Thomas from the British organization BUAV (British Union for Abolition of Vivisection).
The third seminar took place at the Chaloupky centre (centre for education and schooling in nature) in February 2005. For the third time, the “Farm animals protection” topic was enriched with the lecture and experiences of a foreign lecturer, this time it was Phil Brooke from the British organisation CIWF (Compassion in World Farming).
The last diurnal meeting took place at the hall of the MŠMT (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) in Prague. During this meeting, we have together shaped the form of the seminars for pedagogues which our instructors will organize across the whole republic in 2006).
The topic of the three day long seminar of the British organization RSPCA for the instructors was “Connecting the environmental education and animal protection and methods of animal protection education”. It clarified the common topics and methods of environmental and humane education (in the context of animal protection, the humane education means education towards humane approach to animals).
We have a group of 32 qualified instructors, who have undergone a cycle of seminars accredited by the MŠMT and are fully capable of presenting the ideas of animal protection education in schools. At present, they are working in ecology centres associated in SSEV Pavučina (Ecology Education Centres Union) or in the area of animal protection as a whole.
Another of the important assets and contributions to the project is the handbook for the second grade elementary schools teachers and teachers of junior high schools along with the worksheets for the pupils. It is divided into 6 thematically different topics: How do we feel about them, ‘Farm animals’, Experiments on animals, ‘Pets’, Feral animals bred in captivity and Feral animals. These topics are freely joined together with discussion topics for pupils, references to activities and activities themselves. It is very practical and above all the only methodology of its kind that exists in Czech Republic, which covers all the basic topics of animal protection and their usage in education. The handbook will be published at the end of March and will be freely available at the seminars for teachers held by the animal protection instructors.
This year, such a unique project in the field of animal protection has its follow-up. The Animal Protection Trust has decided to support activities logically following the previous project and therefore put the animal protection education in practice. As a part of the “Cultivation, enlightenment and education in the area of animal protection II” project, a series of seminars for the pedagogues from elementary and secondary schools will be realized under the coordination of SSEV Pavučina across the whole republic. The selected ecology centres will create new animal protection educational programmes which will than be available in the ecology centres as a variegation of the classes both for the teachers and pupils.