LONDON, March 22, 2012 - Two new surveys conducted among 2,500 adults and 400 teachers show what is really on the minds of those concerned about education; the need to teach about pets in schools.
89% of adults, 78% of primary teachers and 70% of secondary teachers believed it is important to teach responsibility using pets and most adults thought it was more important to teach younger children how to care for pets than it was to teach them about sex education or money management. Isn't that going to cause a fight with the 'teach kids to have sex at younger ages' lobby, though? It's Big Pet versus Big Condom for the mindshare of 8-year-olds.
No surprise, this survey was conducted by the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association and they lament that despite owning pets clearly being on the minds of British parents and teachers, caring for pets is still not currently taught at 60% of primary and 85% of secondary schools. In America, we are told education is 'dismal' and 'in crisis' because scores went up for every test during the last decade but British education is apparently lacking if they don't raise animals.
The PFMA would rather light a candle than curse British pedagogical darkness so they have helped establish the Education Alliance, a collaboration of the UK's key pet welfare charities and organizations and launched Pet Education Resources to educate people on how to care for a pet - like buying pet food from a company in the Pet Food Manufacturer's Association.
They say the site will help those 64% of schools not teaching about pets at all but the Alliance believes further work must be done. You knew that was coming. They intend to lobby for a 'thread' of pet welfare education throughout the curriculum so children understand how they should care for pets, and why they should do so.
What would solve that communication problem is more pet education in schools. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Maybe they could write history books through the eyes of a cute puppy and it could secretly be responsible for the Magna Carta and whatnot. It will improve pet ownership (and therefore food purchase) numbers but it might be a negative on those international tests, since Chinese kids will likely be learning something real in schools.