ERIC Number: ED200471
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
Humane Education: The Status of Current Research and Knowledge. Special Report.
Vockell, Edward L.; Hodal, Frank
This paper analyzes available published research on humane education. There is reliable evidence that attitudes of Americans toward animal life are strongly negative, and that it is possible that this negativeness increases as children grow older. Although there is widespread agreement that humane education is possible and desirable in our schools, very few systematic implementations have been reported and there is no evidence to show that any specific technique accomplishes anything. A major drawback is the absence of a clear, operational definition of "human values" and the lack of effective techniques for assessing attitudes towards animal life. In most cases, educators and organizations seem to assume that because they themselves value animal life and have conducted a program of some sort, that the recipients of that program have developed humane attitudes. This is a false and dangerous assumption. There are four basic strategies for promoting humane attitudes: providing information and experiences; value clarification; value education; and behavior modification. Of these strategies, providing information and experiences with animals has been used most frequently. No research is available, but the fact that American attitudes are apparently still inhumane suggests that this technique used alone is not effective. The paper suggests ways to combine this approach with other techniques to provide greater effectiveness. The second technique, value clarification, has received critical attention, but no research is available to support its effectiveness with regard to humane education. Value education has received no attention whatsoever. And, finally, behavior modification--while effective in many other areas of education--has received no reported attention in humane education. Research is needed to find ways to apply these techniques to humane education in such a way as to promote permanent improvements in attitudes toward animal life. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association for the Advancement of Humane Education.