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Almeida, A., García Fernández, B., & Silva, T. (2017). CHANGING NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS OF ANIMALS THROUGH TEACHING PRACTICE: A RESEARCH IN PRIMARY EDUCATION. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 16(4).
This research focused on whether teaching practice could improve children’s perceptions of animals with a bad image. For this purpose, children from the 5th year of schooling approached the topic “diversity of animals” differently. The experimental group, 50 children from three classes (25 boys and 25 girls) aged 10 to 13, adopted an approach more focused on the role of the ecosystem and benefits of the animals for humans. The control group, 53 pupils from another three classes (27 boys and 26 girls) within the same age range, adopted a more descriptive approach based on the morphology, physiology and behaviours of the different animals. A pre-test and a post-test were administered to identify children’s empathy with ten animals with a bad image and to assess both their attractiveness and dangerousness. The experimental group significantly increased their empathy with the ten animals and only the assessment of their dangerousness was less conclusive. Even so, the dangerousness of the shark and of the mouse decreased significantly in this group. The research seems to be important as an aid to the design of didactic approaches related to the present issue both in continuous and pre-service training courses for primary teachers.