All Day Long, Pets, and the benefits of interacting with animals
All Day Long, believes in a program which is natural, organic and holistic, where we are able to support children with connecting to their community, whilst learning holistically about all aspects of life and the world in which they are living.
We believe that having pets is more than just fun filled interactions, that pets provide opportunities for learning, supporting development whist bringing joy to each child.
Believing in a philosophy which has taken inspiration from Reggio Emilia’s approach, whose work is supported by Malguzzi’s ideology whereby ‘animals are seen as a fourth teacher’ to support contemporary thinkers. We believe, like Malguzzi, that parents are the child’s first teacher, educators are seen as the second teacher and the child’s environment as the third teacher.
This demonstrates the crucial role that each play in supporting children’s learning with Einstein supporting the notation that “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Benefits of having pets within All Day Long can be seen through observations, interactions and learning how to care for an animal, which are all held as a valuable part of a child’s education and care experiences, which also enriches and deepens their connection to their own individual learning journeys.
Having a deep connection to the land, the natural world and blending this approach within our philosophy. It is vital to incorporate this connection into both our inside, outside and bush adventure environments. Steiner believes that “There is little value in knowing plants, animals and minerals unless one can find the stars working in every one of them.” It is this idea which centres us at All Day Long, to support children to connect to the different wonders of the world, whether this is bringing pets into the centre environment or connecting to the wildlife in their natural habitat in our local community.
Animals in our environment support children in building empathy, improving communication reducing anxiety whilst also supporting learning about nature, ecology and relationships. It is this learning which supports children developing knowledge about life cycles, caring for other living things and connecting their right to be cared for and live in a safe environment to the reciprocal rights of others (including animals), as seen in the UNCRC 1989.
This learning further connects to the Victorian Early Years, Learning Development Framework (VEYLDF 2009) whereby;
- Every child has a strong sense of identity, learning to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world, becoming socially responsible and showing respect for their environment.
All Day Long believes in an aim where ultimately education is taken out of an isolated class and into the one humanity in which we live, as supported by Paul Goodman. It is this connection to the world, humanity and awareness of their environment which supports the foundations in which we embed to support well rounded citizens who can support positive and connected outcomes for their future and that of the world.