The effect of working with living subjects on the level of knowledge in students with special educational needs

Milan Kubiatko 1 * , Kristyna Balatova 2, Martina Magova 3
More Detail
1 Department of Preschool and Primary Education, Faculty of Education, J. E. Purkyne University, CZECH REPUBLIC
2 Department of Psychology and Abnormal Psychology, Faculty of Education, Palacky University, CZECH REPUBLIC
3 Department of Education and Special Education, Faculty of Education, Catholic University in Ruzomberok, SLOVAKIA
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 68-76.
Published Online: 08 September 2022, Published: 01 January 2023
OPEN ACCESS   942 Views   499 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)


The goal of the research was to find out the effect of using living animal in teaching on remembering and understanding acquired knowledge in students with special educational needs (SEN). In our experiment, students with SEN (n=24) were compared with students without SEN (n=56). The design of the research was experimental. The research tool consisted of a test which was made by the authors, and which served both as a pre- and a post-test. For the assessment, the methods of descriptive statistics (the average) and inductive statistics (t-test for dependent and independent samples) were used. Students in experimental groups which encountered living animals in teaching, acquired more information about animals, which were used during teaching process and because of that, their results were better than the results of students in control groups.


Kubiatko, M., Balatova, K., & Magova, M. (2023). The effect of working with living subjects on the level of knowledge in students with special educational needs. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11(1), 68-76.


  • Adam, T., & Tatnall, A. (2017). The value of using ICT in the education of school students with learning difficulties. Education and Information Technologies, 22(6), 2711-2726.
  • Adkins, J., & Lock, R. (1994). Using animals in secondary education–a pilot survey. Journal of Biological Education, 28(1), 48-52.
  • Aksal, F. A., & Gazi, Z. A. (2015). Examination on ICT integration into special education schools for developing countries. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 14(3), 70-72.
  • Al-Gaseem, M. M., Bakkar, B. S., & Suhail, A. Z. (2020). Metacognitive thinking skills among talented science education students. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists, 8(2), 897-904.
  • Baumgartner, E., & Cho, J. I. (2014). Animal-assisted activities for students with disabilities: Obtaining stakeholders’ approval and planning strategies for teachers. Childhood Education, 90(4), 281-290.
  • Catanzaro, T. E. (2003). Human-animal bond and primary prevention. American Behavioral Scientist, 47, 52-54.
  • Chamidy, T., Degeng, I. N. S., & Saida, U. L. F. A. (2020). The effect of problem based learning and tacit knowledge on problem-solving skills of students in computer network practice course. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists, 8(2), 691-700.
  • Conway, R. (2008). Adapting curriculum, teaching and learning strategies. In P. Forman (Ed.) Inclusion in action. Nelson Australia Pty Ltd.
  • Davis, H. D. (1988). Animal-facilitated therapy in stress mediation. Holistic Nursing Practice, 2, 75-83.
  • Eligi, I., & Mwantimwa, K. (2017). ICT accessibility and usability to support learning of visually-impaired students in Tanzania. International Journal of Education and Development Using ICT, 13(2), 87-102.
  • Fančovičová, J., Prokop, P., & Lešková, A. (2013). Perceived disgust and personal experiences are associated with acceptance of dissections in schools. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 9(3), 311-318.
  • Faver, C. A., & Bradley, K. K. (2009). Finding a voice: Animals helping children. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 15(1), 24-28.
  • Grandgeorge, M., Dubois, E., Alavi, Z., Bourreau, Y., & Hausberger, M. (2019). Do animals perceive human developmental disabilities? Guinea pigs’ behaviour with children with autism spectrum disorders and children with typical development. A pilot study. Animals, 9(8), 522.
  • Gunawan, G., Mashami, R. A., & Herayanti, L. (2020). Gender description on problem-solving skills in chemistry learning using interactive multimedia. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists, 8(1), 561-579.
  • Heimlich, K. (2001). Animal-assisted therapy and the severely disabled chiId: A quantitative study. Journal of Rehabilitation, 67(4), 48-54.
  • Inagaki, K. (1990). The effects of raising animals on children’s biological knowledge. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8(2), 119-129.
  • Jalongo, M. R. (2005). “What are all these dogs doing at school?” Using therapy dogs to promote children’s reading practice. Childhood Education, 81(3), 152-158.
  • Juhji, J., & Nuangchalerm, P. (2020). Interaction between science process skills and scientific attitudes of students towards technological pedagogical content knowledge. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists, 8(1), 1-16.
  • Maber-Aleksandrowicz, S., Avent, C., & Hassiotis, A. (2016). A systematic review of animal-assisted therapy on psychosocial outcomes in people with intellectual disability. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 49, 322-338.
  • Martin, F., & Famum, J. (2002). Animal assisted therapy for children with pervasive developmental disorders. Western Journal of Nursing, 24(6), 657-670.
  • Mayer, V. J., & Hinton, N. K. (1990). Animals in the classroom: Considering the options. The Science Teacher, 57(3), 26-30.
  • McConnell, E. A. (2002). Myths & facts … about animal-assisted therapy. Nursing, 32(3), 76.
  • McLean, J. E., & Ernest, J. M. (1998). The role of statistical significance testing in educational research. Research in the Schools, 5(2), 15-22.
  • Mokiwa, H. O., & Agbenyeku, E. U. (2019). Impact of activity-based teaching strategy on gifted students: A case of selected junior secondary schools in Nigeria. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists, 7(3), 421-434.
  • Orlans, F. B. (1991). Use of animals in education: Policy and practice in the United States. Journal of Biological Education, 25(1), 27-32.
  • Ozdemir, D., & Isiksal Bostan, M. (2021). A design based study: Characteristics of differentiated tasks for mathematically gifted students. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9(3), 125-144.
  • Plous, S. (1996). Attitudes toward the use of animals in psychological research and education: Results from a national survey of psychologists. American Psychologist, 51(11), 1167-1180.
  • Prokop, P., Prokop, M., & Tunnicliffe, S. D. (2008). Effects of keeping animals as pets on children’s concepts of vertebrates and invertebrates. International Journal of Science Education, 30(4), 431-449.
  • Prokop, P., & Tunnicliffe, S. D. (2010). Effects of having pets at home on children’s attitudes toward popular and unpopular animals. Anthrozoös, 23(1), 21-35.
  • Ramadianti, W., Priatna, N., & Kusnandi, K. (2019). misconception analysis of junior high school student in interpreting fraction. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists, 7(4), 1159-1173.
  • Ramos, S. I. M., & de Andrade, A. M. V. (2016). ICT in Portuguese reference schools for the education of blind and partially sighted students. Education and Information Technologies, 21(3), 625-641.
  • Ridhwan, R., Sumarmi, S., Ruja, I. N., Utomo, D. H., & Sari, R. (2019). Student perception on teaching materials development to increase students’ knowledge of Aceh’s maritime potential. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists, 7(4), 1295-1309.
  • Sevinc, S., & Galindo, E. (2022). Noticing student mathematical thinking: Self-contemplation of a pre-service teacher. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(2), 154-169.
  • Silberstein, M., & Tamir, P. (1981). Factors which affect students’ attitudes towards the use of living animals in learning biology. Science Education, 65(2), 119-130.
  • Smith, B. P., & Dale, A. A. (2016). Integrating animals in the classroom: The attitudes and experiences of Australian school teachers toward animal-assisted interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder. Pet Behaviour Science, 1, 13-22.
  • Sprinkle, J. E. (2008). Animals, empathy, and violence: Can animals be used to convey principles of prosocial behavior to children? Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 6(1), 47-58.
  • Tamir, P. (1980). Students’ attitudes toward the use of animals in biology teaching. The American Biology Teacher, 42(2), 100-109.
  • Walthall, J. T. (2012). The dog days in American public schools: Observations and suggestions regarding the laws, challenges and amazing benefits of allowing service animals to accompany children with special needs to school. Campbell Law Review, 35(1), 149-172.
  • Yap, E., Scheinberg, A., & Williams, K. (2017). Attitudes to and beliefs about animal assisted therapy for children with disabilities. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 26, 47-52.