Tails from the Classroom

Learning and teaching through animal-assisted interventions

By: Russell Grigg , Helen Lewis


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Size: 222x182mm

Pages : 256

ISBN: 9781785835056

Format: Paperback

Published: December 2020


Written by Helen Lewis and Russell Grigg, Tails from the Classroom: Learning and teaching through animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) is a fascinating exploration of the use of AAIs in educational settings and how they can inspire and support learners’ all-round development.

There is growing interest in the idea of bringing animals into the classroom, but it is only recently that researchers have gathered clear data to show the impact of AAIs on the behavioural, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children and young people.

Tails from the Classroom brings together this research in a highly accessible way, illustrated with real-life case studies from a range of classroom contexts. It also includes lots of practical guidance on how to set up, manage and evaluate a project, ensuring that the welfare of all participants, including the animals, is a priority.

Helen and Russell discuss how AAIs can contribute towards learning in different subject areas and across the curriculum, sharing a wide range of examples to illustrate possible starting points for teachers in a range of subject and thematic contexts – even in less obvious areas such as the arts, literature, and religious and moral codes.

They also provide a historical overview of human–animal interactions, highlighting how animals have played a central part in humans’ social, spiritual and cultural development. This then underpins the authors’ exploration into animals’ potential role in enhancing particular dimensions of children’s social, emotional, intellectual and physical development and well-being.

This groundbreaking book is not just for animal-loving educators, however. It is for anyone who is serious about inspiring learners of all ages and prepared to explore new ways of doing so.

Suitable for educators working with learners of all ages.


Picture for author Russell Grigg

Russell Grigg

Dr Russell Grigg was previously an associate professor at the Wales Centre for Equity in Education, and has extensive experience in teacher training and has written many books and articles on the subject of primary education. Since 2018, Russell has been working as an education inspector for the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates.

Click here to take a look at Russell's Padlet page, where he asks for your contributions to the question, What's the best idea in education ever?'.

Check out the new Teaching on a Shoestring website. 


Picture for author Helen Lewis

Helen Lewis

Dr Helen Lewis is Programme Director for PGCE at Swansea University School of Education. Part of her role involves leading an educational anthrozoology module, and undertaking original research into the impact of animal-assisted interventions in educational settings. After studying animal and human behaviour at university she became a primary school teacher and has worked in education for over twenty years.

10 at-home learning ideas that hardly cost a penny' - click here to read the full article on The School Run.


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