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The pedagogy of encounter: how do zoo interpreters account for their facilitation of interspecies encounters between visitors and captive animals?

By C. Komesch, G. Reis, Rute Monteiro

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Zoo interpreters have an important role to play in enhancing the educational potential of an informal learning setting. Nonetheless, little is known about what motivates individuals to pursue a profession in zoo interpretation, or how these individuals account for their educational methods. Our study was designed to gain insight into zoo interpreters’ self-reported methods and motivations for facilitating human-animal encounters as part of their daily work routine. Semi-formal interviews were conducted with full-time interpreters at a private zoo in Ottawa, and the transcribed data was coded for emergent themes. Overall, respondents consistently accounted for their facilitation methods by referencing potential benefits to wild animals, to the human visitors, and to the interpreters themselves. This study will contribute to the scholarly body of research that analyzes interspecies interactions for the purpose of providing enhanced environmental and scientific educational opportunities for all, specially children.

Submitter

Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2015
Publisher Instituto de Educação da Universidade de Lisboa
Location of Publication Lisbon, Portugal
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10400.1/7048
Language English
Additional Language Portuguese
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Education
  3. Environment
  4. Zoo and captive wild animals
  5. Zoo interpreters
  6. Zoos