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) 

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 We are available to answer your questions throughout the summer.

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