Paw Pals: Evaluation of an Animal Assisted Education Program

  • Grove, Christine (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Henderson, Linda (Chief Investigator (CI))

    Project: Research

    Project Details

    Project Description

    MacKillop Education has awarded Monash Education the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of the Paw Pals Program across the Victorian education system.

    The Paw Pals Animal Assisted Education program has been created by MacKillop Education Services for students who are currently disengaged or at risk of disengaging from education. This is also in keeping with the Paw Pals Program’s central aim to build student engagement and confidence through animal-assisted activities and individualised learning sessions working alongside trained therapy dogs and program facilitators.

    Monash Education, under the leadership of Dr Christine Grove and Dr Linda Henderson, will evaluate the Paw Pals Program to ensure continuous quality improvement and recommendations for best practice of the program. Christine and Linda, will steward the overall project with a methodology that will enable access to, and collection of, data that can be analysed to provide deep insight into the factors that influence the effectiveness of the Paw Pals program.

    The evaluation will be able to address the program’s key objectives in terms of identifying quantitatively the program’s patterns of impact on student engagement, confidence, self-regulation and emotional intelligence, whilst qualitative data will provide rich insights, and patterns into, the meaning of these interactions. Specifically, the Paw Pals program aims to:

    • Increase student social confidence and emotional intelligence
    • Improve student self-regulation and behavioural management skills
    • Increase student engagement in academic based learning tasks
    • Deliver positive learning experiences and opportunities for student success

    Effective start/end date5/07/2131/07/22