RSPCA Victoria today announces the launch of AWARE, a free online education program for students and teachers that improves animal welfare knowledge while supporting learning outcomes outlined in the Victorian Curriculum. As outlined by the acronym, the free learning resources are all about Animal Wellbeing: Awareness, Responsibility, and Education.
RSPCA Victoria believes education is the key to creating lasting change. The aim of AWARE is to help young people develop responsible and caring behaviour toward animals, preventing animal cruelty and neglect in the long-term.
The new program includes resources for educators, students and parents to assist with educating young people about animal welfare. The key learnings can be applied to wildlife, companion animals and animals farmed for food or fibre. With many Victorian children still engaged in home schooling due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the AWARE program launches at an opportune time, offering parents and teachers informative new teaching resources.
RSPCA Victoria’s CEO, Dr Liz Walker said educating the next generation about animal welfare is one of the most important things we can do to ensure we create a kinder world for animals.
“We know that animals are good for people in many ways, they enhance our lives by keeping us happy, healthy and engaged, so it’s important to make sure we care for them appropriately. However not all children have pets in their household or the opportunity to interact with animals in their everyday lives therefore education plays a crucial role in animal welfare.
“We believe the AWARE program is an important addition to our existing education offering and expands our work to educate the community regarding animal welfare,” said Dr Walker.
AWARE offers information portals for teachers and students, a guide for students working on animal welfare-related projects and guides to looking after a selection of the most commonly owned domestic pets.
The education portal is designed for children to access and learn about animal welfare and the responsibility people have for caring for animals. Important pillars of animal welfare are explained, such as the Five Freedoms and what animals need to live a happy fulfilling life. The learning resources help to develop children’s respect, understanding and compassion for all creatures great and small.
The teacher portal is designed to help primary school teachers deliver meaningful animal welfare education by providing innovative teaching and learning resources that are aligned with the Victorian Curriculum and easily work into existing classroom programs. The resources lead to opportunity for engaging discussion and include true to life lessons such as the mathematics module, which uses maths to teach children about the cost of caring for pets.
To view the AWARE program, visit www.rspcavic.org/aware.