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Six Ways to Stay Engaged This Summer

With summer break right around the corner, we have a selection of podcasts, documentaries, courses, websites and more for you to explore during your much deserved time off. These recommendations touch on a variety of topics related to humane education including social-emotional learning, animal cognition and behaviour, empathy, Indigenous perspectives! Do you have a resource that you think we should check out? If so, let us know! We would love to hear from you. 

*Views represented in these suggestions do not necessarily represent the views of the Alberta SPCA. 

The Secret World of Sound (CBC)

This three-part CBC Nature of Things documentary explores how animals use sound in extraordinary ways to hunt, find a mate and survive. Discover how owls use sound to survive in the winter, how young caimans coordinate their hatching by communicating with each other through their shells, and how scientists are using underwater speakers in hopes of saving damaged coral! A free CBC Gem account is required to watch this documentary. 

Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals (Lori Gruen)

In this book, author and philosopher, Lori Gruen suggests that when dealing with empathy, it is crucial for us to acknowledge the distinction between self and others as it can be simple to project our point of view onto others when they have their own needs, interests and perspectives. This especially can ring true when it comes to empathizing with animals as we can often focus on human capacities, which can lead to an oversight of the animal’s unique needs. 

“Animal”  (New York Times)

In uncertain times, what can we gain by looking at and learning from other animals? In this six-part podcast, Host Sam Anderson sets out on a journey to meet new animals (and the people who love them). This is an intriguing and heartwarming listen.  

An Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) 

This free course (that can be completed in one hour!) pairs informative learning activities with opportunities for you to make connections to your community. While completing the course you will imagine ways you can (and already do) apply your own social and emotional skills to support social-emotional learning in students. 

Aboriginal Worldviews and Education (University of Toronto) 

This course, offered for free though Coursera, explores Indigenous ways of knowing and how this knowledge can benefit all students. Topics include historical, social and political issues in education; cultural, spiritual and philosophical themes in Aboriginal worldviews; and how Aboriginal worldviews can inform your classroom practices. 

pblworks.org (PBLWorks) 

PBLWorks offers project based learning (PBL) projects and resources to help you design and implement PBL in your classroom, as well as a variety of workshops and courses for teachers. A blog and podcast series that explore the power, potential and pitfalls of project based learning can also be found on the website. 

Wishing everyone a relaxing and refreshing summer break! We look forward to connecting with you again in September. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to reach out to us at education@albertaspca.org. We are available to answer your questions throughout the summer.

Zoonotic diseases in the Classroom

This week is Animal Health Week (October 2-8) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is focusing on the importance of ‘One Health,’ meaning that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems is interconnected. With this theme in mind, guest blogger and 4th year animal science

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Responding to Disaster: The Fort McMurray Fire

A disaster can happen when we least expect it. But when people step up, get involved and work together, difficult situations can be overcome and the Fort McMurray fire is a great example of this. From the start, the fires moved quickly, intensely and unpredictably.

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Announcing the 2015 Humane Awards Recipients!

The Alberta SPCA’s Humane Awards recognize Alberta teachers and students who inspire others to show compassion for animals, people and the environment through example and leadership. We are pleased to announce this year’s Humane Award Recipients! For incorporating humane education principles that foster empathy and

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Three ways to Inspire Ethical Citizenship

In Alberta’s Ministerial Order on student learning the government identified fundamental learning goals for students to ensure a prosperous and positive future for Alberta. We must aim to inspire all students to reach their full potential through the three Es’: “engaged thinkers and ethical citizens

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Marks of Kindness

Students and teachers across the province have done some wonderful things to make a difference for animals, people and the environment! This short video highlights just some of the things they were up to this past school year. Enjoy! For more examples of students making

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Grants for Greening Your School

Spring is a great time to start thinking about engaging your school community in finding ways to make your school a greener place – both inside and out. There are many benefits to greening schools, including energy and waste reduction, air quality improvement and even

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What difference does a week of kindness make?

You tell us! Try just one week of daily kind acts – for animals, people and the environment. It doesn’t require extra class time (or prep time), but can make a big impact. Ask students to commit to one act of kindness each day and

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