Title page for ETD etd-12072011-134626


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author McCrindle, Cheryl Myra Ethelwyn
URN etd-12072011-134626
Document Title A veterinary perspective on the use of animals in preschool education
Degree DPhil
Department Veterinary Production and Ethology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr E M Calitz Co-Supervisor
Prof J S J Odendaal Supervisor
Keywords
  • preschool education
  • human-animal interactions
  • kleuteropvoeding
  • mens-dierinteraksie
  • soŲnose
  • kindersiektes
  • primÍre gesondheidsorg
  • veterinary ethology
  • dieretuinbesoeke
  • stadsplase
  • leerondervinding
  • kinderliteratuur
  • veterinÍre etologie
  • children's literature
  • mediated learning experience
  • urban farms
  • zoo visit
  • primary health care
  • paediatric diseases
  • zoonosis
Date 1995-01-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate human-animal interactions in the triad comprising the veterinarian, the animal and the preschool and in so doing to elucidate the role of the veterinarian in the health and education of preschool children. The area of focus was a comparison of preschools in high and low income areas in and around Pretoria by means of qualitative and quantitative observational methods.

It was found that all preschools investigated, included animals in the curriculum and a majority visited the zoo. Interactions included direct contact between children and animals kept permanently or temporarily at school, animal themes and topics, animal protagonists in books, videos, toys and games and excursions to the zoo, urban farms, agricultural museums and animal welfare societies. Teachers felt that child-animal interactions contributed positively to the holistic development of the preschool child, but were worried about management of animals at school and the possibility of zoonotic diseases. As protein of animal origin, such as milk, eggs, meat and fish, formed part of the diet of preschool children, this could also result in a risk of zoonotic disease, particularly in developing areas, where meat and milk hygiene were found to be inadequate.

In order to address these fears, the literature was reviewed with regard to zoonotic diseases which could affect preschool children in South Africa. Incidence and prevalence were not well documented and the comparative significance could not be assessed. Therefore the comparative morbidity of diseases diagnosed by the paediatric department of a hospital serving the low income areas studied and a private practice serving the high income areas, were investigated. It was discovered that zoonotic disease formed a very minor proportion of diseases diagnosed. The diagnoses were, however, based on symptoms rather than aetiology and zoonotic causes for, in particular, respiratory and gastro-intestinal disease, could not be excluded. In the light of this, criteria were proposed for the prevention of zoonotic disease outbreaks at preschools.

An outbreak of zoonotic disease at a preschool was documented and the application of primary health care principles suggested. Constraints were found to be mainly administrative. Co-operation between the departments of Health and Agriculture was complicated by financial implications which had not been budgeted. Despite this, the intervention was successful in controlling the disease and preventing further outbreaks. The presence of a veterinarian as part of the primary health care team was advocated.

Within the preschool it was found that teachers lacked knowledge in the fields of animal ethology and management. Cost, ease of management and appeal to children were taken into account in the choice of animals by preschools. Rodents and birds were considered preferable to carnivores. Housing was evaluated and criteria suggested for management systems which would benefit both children and animals. Death and euthanasia of animals kept permanently at preschool was investigated and suggestions made for a teaching strategy to facilitate understanding by children of the abstract concepts of life, death and grief.

A method was developed for the analysis of animal content in literature, games and toys at preschools. It was found that animals were central to the theme of a majority of the books and toys. Realistic fiction where anthropomorphic animals were the central protagonists, had most appeal for children and it was suggested that these could be used in veterinary extension materials for prevention of zoonotic diseases or promotion of animal welfare. An evaluation system was proposed which included the input of veterinary ethologists.

Animal facilities visited by preschools during excursions were evaluated. It was found that they were not sufficiently child-centred and environmen¨tally safe for young children. It was suggested that veterinary public health officials should become involved in order to improve animal well-being, particularly with regard to handling facilities and hygiene.

In conclusion, a schematic representation of the multitude of roles for veterinarians in the holistic development of the preschool child was drawn up. The roles for different veterinary specialities were also tabulated in order to illustrate the important part played by this profession in the health and education of preschool children.

AFRIKAANS : Die doel van die studie was om mens-dier-interaksies in die driehoek tussen veearts, dier en die kleuterskool te ondersoek om sodoende die rol van die veearts in die gesondheid en opvoeding van die voorskoolse kind aan te dui. Kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe navorsingsmetodes is gebruik om kleuterskole in die lae en hoŽ inkomste-gebiede in en om Pretoria te vergelyk.

Alle kleuterskole wat ondersoek is, het diere in die kurrikulum ingesluit en die meerderheid skole het uitstappies na die dieretuin onderneem. Kind-dierinteraksies het die volgende ingesluit: direkte kontak tussen kind en dier op skool; diere in temas, stories, boeke, speletjies en speelgoed; asook uitstappies na die dieretuin, landelike museums, stedelike plase en dierwelsynsorganisasies. Onderwyseresse het gemeen dat die interaksies positief bygedra het tot die holistiese ontwikkeling van die voorskoolse kind, maar het kommer uitgespreek oor bestuur en siektes van diere. Omdat proteÔene van dierlike oorsprong deel uitmaak van die dieet van voorskoolse kinders, was soŲnose ook 'n moontlikheid, veral in kinders van ontwikkelende areas waar dit uitgewys was dat higiŽne met betrekking tot vleis en melk, nie na wense was nie.

'n Literatuurstudie het aangetoon dat die algemeenheid en omvang van soŲnotiese siektes, wat moontlik gevaarlik kon wees vir voorskoolse kinders, nie volledig genoeg omskryf was nie. Die vergelykende morbiditeit van siektes by Ga-Rankuwa Hospitaal se kinderafdeling (pasiŽnte van lae-inkomste gebiede) en 'n private praktyk in die oostelike voorstede van Pretoria (hoŽ inkomste gebied), is dus ondersoek. SoŲnotiese siektes het 'n klein deel uitgemaak van die siektes wat gediagnoseer was, maar die diagnose was op simptome, eerder as die etiologie van die siektes, gebaseer. Die vermoede bestaan dat veral siektes wat gediagnoseer is as respiratories en gastro-enteries, 'n soŲnotiese oorsprong kon gehad het.

'n Uitbreek van 'n soŲnotiese siekte by 'n kleuterskool is ondersoek en daar is voorgestel dat primÍre gesondheidsorgmetodes gebruik word om dit te bekamp. Teenkanting op administratiewe vlak was die belangrikste probleem wat ondervind was, maar ten spyte daarvan kon die ondersoek suksesvol verloop. Die rol van die veearts as deel van die primÍre gesondheidspan is ook hierdeur beklemtoon.

Binne die kleuterskool is gevind dat daar 'n gebrek aan kennis is oor diere-etologie en dierebestuur. Kostes, praktiese versorgingsmetodes en die stimuluswaarde van diersoorte, was belangrike aspekte in die keuse van diere wat by skole aangehou is. Daarom was knaagdiere, voŽls en vissies meer gewild as honde en katte. Die behuising van die diere is geŽvalueer volgens voorgestelde kriteria wat tot voordeel van beide diere en kinders kan strek. Die dood en genadedood van diere by twee kleuterskole is ondersoek en voorstelle is gemaak uit 'n opvoedingkundige oogpunt, om die kinders konsepte betreffende lewe, dood en rou te laat begryp en ook om dit te kan verwerk.

'n Metode is ook ontwerp vir die analise van boeke en speelgoed en daar is bewys dat diere 'n hoofrol gespeel het in die meerderheid boeke en speelgoed by voorskole. Kinders het boeke verkies waar die hoofkarakters antropomorfiese diere was en die omgewing vergelykbaar was met die lewenswÍreld van kinders. 'n Voorstel is dus gemaak dat sulke karakters gebruik word om veeartsenykunde voorligtingsboodskappe oor soŲnotiese siektes of dierwelsyn oor te dra aan jong kinders.

Stedelike plasies, die dieretuin, landboumuseums en die Dierebeskermingsvereniging in Pretoria is besoek en daar is bevind dat dit nie veilig genoeg vir jong kinders is nie. Daar word dus aanbeveei dat veeartse in diens van plaaslike owerhede se gesondheidsdienste sulke plekke besoek, om voorstelle oor verbeterde veiligheid en higiŽne te maak.

Ten slote is 'n skematiese voorstelling van die veelsydige rol van veeartsenykundiges in die holistiese ontwikkeling van die voorskoolse kind saamgestel. Die verskillende rolle vir verskillende spesialiteite is ook voorgelÍ om die belangrike bydrae van veeartsenykunde tot die gesondheid en opvoeding van voorskoolse kinders aan te dui.

Copyright © 1995, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

McCrindle, CME, 1995, A veterinary perspective on the use of animals in preschool education, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-12072011-134626/>

D11/9/335/hj

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