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The effect of breeding animals on the preschool children's attitude towards them

Anja Goričan (2017) The effect of breeding animals on the preschool children's attitude towards them. Diploma thesis.

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    Abstract

    Breeding animals in the kindergarten enables children to have a direct experience with them. A child creates a realistic imagery about animals, which contributes to a positive attitude towards living beings. In everyday care, child is emotionally attached to the animal, and thus overcomes the prejudice. At the same time children acquire knowledge of animals, which is closely related to the relationship. They learn about life's needs and processes, such as eating, growth, reproduction, and metabolism. In my diploma thesis, I researched the effect of breeding on the change of attitude towards animals and knowledge about them. I chose three animal specimens: a flour beetle, an earthworm, and a toad, to which children and adults often have negative feelings and prejudice. In the research, a quasi-experiment with a control and an experimental group was used. In each group, there were 19 children, aged from 5 to 6 years. In the first part of an individual interview with 9 questions, I got an insight into the child's attitude towards animals. First, I determined the child's response in a direct contact with the animal. I offered him an animal in the palm of the hand while recording with a video camera. I assessed the child's level of negative feelings on the basis of a 5-point rating scale. With the answers in the second part of the interview, I found out child's knowledge about animals. The initial interviewing was conducted in both groups. Afterwards, the experimental group conducted a project of breeding and learning about flour beetles, earthworms, and toads. The goal of the project was to give children a direct positive experience with animals and learning through different parallel activities in conjunction with other areas of the curriculum. They learned about animal life needs, physical characteristics, habitation, eating, and reproduction. In the control group, none of the project activities took place. At the end of the breeding and learning project, the same kind of an interview was repeated in both groups. A quantitative analysis and comparison of the results showed how the activities in the experimental group influenced the change in child's attitude towards animals and the knowledge of them. I processed the results of the observations qualitatively. The results of the initial interviews showed that more than a half of children had negative feelings towards the flour beetle, the earthworm, and the toad before the project activities. The majority of children did not want to touch them and their knowledge was insufficient and faulty. After implemented activities, their relationship and knowledge have significantly changed and improved. The majority of children easily took the animal in the palm and did not show any negative feelings. Differences in knowledge about animals were also revealed because wrong answers no longer appeared in the interviews. The results of the final interviews in the control group did not differ much from those in the initial ones. I conclude the research with the finding that breeding of animals can influence the formation of a positive child's attitude towards animals. But it has to include a direct positive experience and some acquisition of knowledge which gives the child a basis for understanding animals and prevents them from misconceptions about them.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: preschool child, early science, experiential learning, breeding animals, attitude towards animals
    Number of Pages: 107
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Marjanca KosMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11716681)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4695
    Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 14:21
    Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 14:21
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4695

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