Best practices in developing empathy toward wildlife

March 1st, 2015 | RESEARCH

This review of literature summarizes findings from current research on the development of empathy in childhood, and implications for developing zoo and aquarium programs that can strengthen children's sense of empathy. Key practices include: intentional framing of conversations about animals, modeling empathy - and providing opportunities for children to practice it, offering opportunities for direct interaction with animals, building children's understanding of the similarities and differences between the needs of humans and of other animals, and activating children's imagination to help them understand the perspective of another.



Team Members

Seattle Aquarium, Author
Kathryn Owen, Contact, Kathryn Owen Consulting
Kathayoon Khalil, Contributor, Oregon Zoo

Related URLs

Measuring Empathy: Collaborative Assessment Project


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Learning Researchers | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | Life science | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Literature Review | Research Products
Environment Type: Aquarium and Zoo Exhibits | Aquarium and Zoo Programs | Exhibitions | Public Programs