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Dogs in schools: Towards an inclusive partnership

Written by: Helen Lewis and Russell Grigg
|Figure 1 illustrates four principles to consider when having dogs in school: (1) Respect everyone’s feelings
10 min read
Dr Helen Lewis, Department of Education and Childhood Studies, Swansea University, UK Dr Russell Grigg, Ministry of Education, UAE The learning environment refers to the range of physical, virtual and social contexts within which pupils acquire knowledge, skills and values. This article summarises the contribution that dogs can make in promoting and supporting an inclusive learning environment, particularly to support pupils’ wellbeing. Pupil wellbeing has attracted increasing attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, with pupils’ behavioural, emotional and attentional difficulties having increased (Shum et al., 2021). A recent systematic review points to positive benefits for children’s social, emotional, physical, behavioural and cognitive development when they interact with animals (Purewal et al., 2017). However, the dog’s welfare should also be considered if a genuinely inclusive partnership is to be achieved, so the learning environment should be rooted in values of mutua

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