Resources for humane education

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1995:

Simmons College, of Boston, has
opened up a new avenue for animal-related

education, the interactive electronic curricu-
lum. Two such curriculums have already
been up and running for a couple of years
now, used by dozens of teachers all over the
country as an aid to teaching computer use,
science, English, math, and research
skills––and the cumulative efforts of the stu-
dent participants are also usefully expanding
what we know about roadkills and whales.
The Dr. Splatt roadkill project,

already described in ANIMAL PEOPLE o n
multiple occasions, involves students mostly
in grades 6-9 counting roadkills along speci-
fied stretches of road for nine weeks each
April and May, logging the results of each
day’s count. The Dr. Splatt project is by far
the biggest and longest-running attempt ever
to assemble data on roadkills. Important find-
ings to date include the discovery of peak
periods of vulnerability for many species, and
the apparent tendency for roadkills to cluster
at full moons. We’ve been pleased to publish
the Dr. Splatt findings for the past two years,
and eagerly anticipate the findings for this
year. For further information, e-mail to
Michael Williamson’s W h a l e N e t
curriculum is quite a bit more difficult, ori-
ented toward high schoolers with advanced
knowledge of math and science. To make
maximum use of it, participants should be
able to do some first-person whale-watching.
Those who live well inland can still follow the
lessons in navigation, data analysis, etc., but
it may be much less fun for students who
don’t get the chance to see or at least look for
whales in person. Get details at Mwilliamson
Perhaps the most ambitious multi-
disciplinary humane education manual to date
is Introduction to Animals and Ethics, a
253-page complete curriculum for secondary
students, edited by Lynn Spivak for the San
Francisco SPCA, with input from a 26-mem-
ber development team including 13 working
schoolteachers. Four major sections examine
current issues associated with pets, endan-
gered wildlife, animal research, and the ani-
mal rights/human rights interface. No mere
propaganda piece, Introduction to Animals
and Ethics will undoubtedly make the doctri-
naire from all sides quite uncomfortable. It
own solutions to real-life problems . The factu-
al briefs provided on some of the discussion
topics are already outdated, but the looseleaf
format allows for quick, easy updating. Send
$25 to the attention of Lynn Spivak, SFSPCA,
2500 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103.
Kind News, from the National
Association for Humane and Environmental
Education, a Humane Society of the U.S. sub-
sidiary, is a single-sheet newspaper published
in four editions keyed to grade level, plus a
Spanish/English edition, issued monthly from
September through May. To be accepted in just
about any classroom, anywhere, Kind News
stays bland. It also makes the mistake of nickel-
and-diming teachers and sponsors of gift sub-
scriptions to classrooms. The price isn’t bad, as
50 copies will be delivered to a school for just
$4.00 per year, but charging anything at all is
counterproductive when animal agribusiness,
hunters, trappers, the fur trade, and even the
Iditarod Trail Committee flood classrooms with
free material. Sending a free bundle to every
classroom in the U.S. could be done for about as
much as HSUS pays one senior vice president.
[POB 362, East Haddam, CT 06423-0362.]
How On Earth!, a trendy new rival,
encourages early-teen readers to make their own
contributions––but it’s steep, at $18/year for
just four issues. The winter 1995 edition is
largely occupied with a multi-part tribute to the
late River Phoenix. There’s also a full page urg-
ing readers to oppose the Great Whale hydro-
electric development in northern Quebec, which
the current Quebec government already can-
celled. [POB 339, Oxford, PA 19363.]
Our advice: skip both Kind News and
How On Earth!, if your program can only
afford only one subscription, and go right to the
original. Oriented toward individual children of
preschool and lower grade levels, rather than
whole classrooms, the Kindness Club has no
big sponsor, gives members much more for
their money, albeit in a more modest format,
and is distinguished for having introduced the
young Paul Watson to humane concerns, circa
1959. Members pledge, “I promise to be kind
to animals, as well as people, and to speak and
act in defense of all helpless living creatures.”
Membership is $6/year U.S., to 66 Brunswick
Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
E3B 1G5.


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