Pongo goes to school: an investigation into the role of school dogs in primary schools

Broad, Alison J (2019). Pongo goes to school: an investigation into the role of school dogs in primary schools. University of Birmingham. Ed.D.

Text - Redacted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (3MB) | Preview


Dogs have been used in therapeutic contexts since the 1960s, following Levinson’s pioneering success incorporating his dog ‘Jangles’ into psychotherapy sessions with children (Levinson, 1969). Dogs can be found in increasingly diverse social contexts, including prisons, hospitals, courtrooms, universities and also schools and there are bold claims that they serve to support humans through various processes of animal assisted therapy (AAT) and animal assisted learning (AAL). This study seeks to discover the role of school dogs and particularly in therapy and learning. The study is underpinned by literature and theoretical frameworks relating to AAT and AAL and to philosophical considerations of the human-animal divide and the human- animal bond.
The interpretivist study follows a case study approach, with data generated from observations, interviews and scrutiny of associated documentary evidence. Data is presented using seven key themes. Six relate to AAT and are based upon the nurture model of Lucas, Insley and Buckland (2006) and the seventh theme relates to AAL. Findings point overwhelmingly towards AAT and to the facilitative role that school dogs play in nurture (Bowlby, 1956), with an indirect impact upon academic learning. New learning from this study indicates the positive impact of school dogs upon transition and school attendance, disclosure and safeguarding, communication, staff wellbeing and managing difficult parents.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/9374


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year