Best practices in developing empathy toward wildlife

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Resource Type:
Literature Review | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Aquarium and Zoo Programs, Exhibitions, Aquarium and Zoo Exhibits
Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
Ecology, forestry, and agriculture | Education and learning science | Life science | Social science and psychology
Seattle Aquarium, Kathryn Owen Consulting

This review of literature summarizes findings from current research on the development of empathy in childhood, and implications for developing zoo and aquarium programs that can strengthen children's sense of empathy. Key practices include: intentional framing of conversations about animals, modeling empathy - and providing opportunities for children to practice it, offering opportunities for direct interaction with animals, building children's understanding of the similarities and differences between the needs of humans and of other animals, and activating children's imagination to help them understand the perspective of another.

Team Members

Kathryn OwenKathryn OwenContact

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