There are three distinctive schools of educational thought and research that focus upon the significance of children’s relations with animals. Each engages with child-animal relations from a unique disciplinary perspective, in a unique way, and for specific purposes and ends.
The first is a breakaway school within developmental psychology. Researchers in this school insist that child-animal relations are significant to children’s development because children grow up in a natural as well as a social environment. They consider the ways in which children’s relations with animals enhance their social, cognitive, moral, and emotional development. Taking a critical and more ecologically attuned position within developmental psychology, this research challenges developmentalism’s hitherto human-centric, or anthropocentric, focus and seeks to extend the vision of this dominant educational paradigm...
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