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Posted by Esther on June 30, 1999 at 20:42:36:
In Reply to: Re: No Herps in Class - Press Item posted by Jo Ann on June 29, 1999 at 23:45:02:
I frequently bring my pets to my classroom, teaching zoology as I do. I've brought in my large English budgies (the kids are mesmerized by their antics, and feed them millet by hand), anoles, geckos, fish, newts, gerbils, etc. The only pet I have not brought in was my cats, and that is due to the possibility of someone being allergic. We hope to have some permanent animal residents in our new lab this fall, although NOT 80 animals! Some classrooms I know about in the NYC area do have many pets them, including snakes, iguanas, exotic mammals, etc. The educational value of such classroom animals is enormous. There's nothing like "hands-on" observation to learn vs. looking at a static picture in a book. Especially with our urban children. That's why I am sure to take my classes on field trips to local wildlife preserves, so that they can see the animals in situ, and how they interact with their environment. On my last field trip, birding in a renown birding preserve very close to my school, I had 2 friends kindly accompany my class: an expert birder with his telescope and several spare binoculars, and a professor of plant ecology at a local college. Both delighted in showing my urban video-oriented students leaves, growth patterns, behaviors, etc. My kids had never seen anything like it, and I know they came away with opened eyes.