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Title: The power of the guinea pig : exploring children's sense of school belonging through animal-assisted activities
Author: Miller, L.
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2018
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Having a sense of belonging in school is a powerful protective factor for supporting emotional wellbeing in children and young people, as well as promoting a range of educational outcomes (Frederickson & Baxter, 2009). In recent years, there has been growing interest in using interventions involving animals in schools, both for supporting emotional wellbeing, and in some cases learning (Pedersen, 2010). The current study explored children's thoughts and feelings about animal-assisted activities in the form of extra-curricular school pet clubs. Familiarisation groups and interviews were carried out with Key Stage 2 children in mainstream primary schools where they were asked open questions about their experiences of spending time with the animals. Thematic analysis revealed that animal-assisted activities had a positive impact on school belonging along with a number of additional benefits for emotional wellbeing. Discussion took place around how this approach could be used for future intervention to promote sense of belonging within the classroom and wider school community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral