Enhancing children’s understanding of farm animal and wildlife welfare through interactive iPad games

Joanne M. Williams, Roxanne Hawkins, Gilly Mendes Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation

Abstract

Introduction
Research on animal welfare education for children has tended to focus on pets. Yet, in the UK, many acts of cruelty by children focus on wild animals. Furthermore, it is important to provide children with knowledge of farm animal welfare to support the development of informed consumer choices. The current study evaluated two novel animal welfare educational iPad games for children:'Farm Animal Welfare' and 'Wildlife
Welfare'.

Methodology
The ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ and ‘Wildlife Welfare’ games teach children about animal sentience (beliefs in animal minds), animal welfare needs and the impact of human behaviours on animal welfare. The ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ evaluation included 91 Scottish children divided into intervention and control groups (girls = 50, boys = 41; ages 6–9 years, n = 27; ages 10–13 years, n = 64). The ‘Wildlife Welfare’ evaluation included 27 Scottish children divided into intervention and control groups (66.7% male, 11-12 years, M=11.22, SD=.424). In both studies the evaluation method involved children being placed in either an intervention or control group (receiving the intervention after the study). A pre-test, intervention, posttest design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions, which were delivered class, during school hours. Self-report questionnaires including key animal welfare knowledge scales were used as evaluation tools. ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ data were analysed using parametric statistics and ‘Wildlife Welfare’ data were analysed using non-parametric tests of difference.

Main Findings
Farm Animal Welfare: Children in the intervention group increased significantly more than control group children in terms of: knowledge of sentience (F(1,119)=17.0, p=.0001, η²=.13), knowledge of welfare needs of chickens
F(1,118)=6.15, p=.015, η²=.05), and understanding of the impact of farming systems on animal welfare (F(1,115)=8.81, p=.004, η²=.071). Wildlife Welfare: The intervention generated statistically significant median increases in knowledge of sentience (Child-BAM Swan, z=4.047, p=.0001, Child-BAM Hedgehog, z=4.650, p=.0001), and
understanding of the impact of human behaviour towards wild animals (z=3.256, p=.001). There was limited change in knowledge of wild animal welfare needs.

Conclusions and Implications for the Field
These linked studies demonstrate the effectiveness of iPad games for teaching children about animal welfare. The results reveal increases in children’s knowledge of sentience and welfare needs, and a greater understanding of the impact of human behaviour on animal welfare. The games will be included in the Scottish SPCA ‘Prevention through Education’ programme reaching 300,000 children annually.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event27th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology: Animals in Our Lives: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Human-Animal Interactions - Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 Jul 20185 Jul 2018
http://www.isaz2018.com/ (Conference website.)

Conference

Conference27th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology
Abbreviated titleISAZ 2018
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period2/07/185/07/18
Internet address

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games
farmed animal species
animal welfare
wildlife
human behavior
wild animals
Erinaceidae
swans
consumer preferences

Cite this

Williams, J. M., Hawkins, R., & Ferreira, G. M. (2018). Enhancing children’s understanding of farm animal and wildlife welfare through interactive iPad games. 27th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Sydney, Australia.
Williams, Joanne M. ; Hawkins, Roxanne ; Ferreira, Gilly Mendes. / Enhancing children’s understanding of farm animal and wildlife welfare through interactive iPad games. 27th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Sydney, Australia.
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Williams, JM, Hawkins, R & Ferreira, GM 2018, 'Enhancing children’s understanding of farm animal and wildlife welfare through interactive iPad games' 27th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Sydney, Australia, 2/07/18 - 5/07/18, .

Enhancing children’s understanding of farm animal and wildlife welfare through interactive iPad games. / Williams, Joanne M.; Hawkins, Roxanne; Ferreira, Gilly Mendes.

2018. 27th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Sydney, Australia.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation

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T1 - Enhancing children’s understanding of farm animal and wildlife welfare through interactive iPad games

AU - Williams, Joanne M.

AU - Hawkins, Roxanne

AU - Ferreira, Gilly Mendes

PY - 2018/7/2

Y1 - 2018/7/2

N2 - IntroductionResearch on animal welfare education for children has tended to focus on pets. Yet, in the UK, many acts of cruelty by children focus on wild animals. Furthermore, it is important to provide children with knowledge of farm animal welfare to support the development of informed consumer choices. The current study evaluated two novel animal welfare educational iPad games for children:'Farm Animal Welfare' and 'WildlifeWelfare'.MethodologyThe ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ and ‘Wildlife Welfare’ games teach children about animal sentience (beliefs in animal minds), animal welfare needs and the impact of human behaviours on animal welfare. The ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ evaluation included 91 Scottish children divided into intervention and control groups (girls = 50, boys = 41; ages 6–9 years, n = 27; ages 10–13 years, n = 64). The ‘Wildlife Welfare’ evaluation included 27 Scottish children divided into intervention and control groups (66.7% male, 11-12 years, M=11.22, SD=.424). In both studies the evaluation method involved children being placed in either an intervention or control group (receiving the intervention after the study). A pre-test, intervention, posttest design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions, which were delivered class, during school hours. Self-report questionnaires including key animal welfare knowledge scales were used as evaluation tools. ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ data were analysed using parametric statistics and ‘Wildlife Welfare’ data were analysed using non-parametric tests of difference.Main FindingsFarm Animal Welfare: Children in the intervention group increased significantly more than control group children in terms of: knowledge of sentience (F(1,119)=17.0, p=.0001, η²=.13), knowledge of welfare needs of chickens F(1,118)=6.15, p=.015, η²=.05), and understanding of the impact of farming systems on animal welfare (F(1,115)=8.81, p=.004, η²=.071). Wildlife Welfare: The intervention generated statistically significant median increases in knowledge of sentience (Child-BAM Swan, z=4.047, p=.0001, Child-BAM Hedgehog, z=4.650, p=.0001), andunderstanding of the impact of human behaviour towards wild animals (z=3.256, p=.001). There was limited change in knowledge of wild animal welfare needs.Conclusions and Implications for the FieldThese linked studies demonstrate the effectiveness of iPad games for teaching children about animal welfare. The results reveal increases in children’s knowledge of sentience and welfare needs, and a greater understanding of the impact of human behaviour on animal welfare. The games will be included in the Scottish SPCA ‘Prevention through Education’ programme reaching 300,000 children annually.

AB - IntroductionResearch on animal welfare education for children has tended to focus on pets. Yet, in the UK, many acts of cruelty by children focus on wild animals. Furthermore, it is important to provide children with knowledge of farm animal welfare to support the development of informed consumer choices. The current study evaluated two novel animal welfare educational iPad games for children:'Farm Animal Welfare' and 'WildlifeWelfare'.MethodologyThe ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ and ‘Wildlife Welfare’ games teach children about animal sentience (beliefs in animal minds), animal welfare needs and the impact of human behaviours on animal welfare. The ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ evaluation included 91 Scottish children divided into intervention and control groups (girls = 50, boys = 41; ages 6–9 years, n = 27; ages 10–13 years, n = 64). The ‘Wildlife Welfare’ evaluation included 27 Scottish children divided into intervention and control groups (66.7% male, 11-12 years, M=11.22, SD=.424). In both studies the evaluation method involved children being placed in either an intervention or control group (receiving the intervention after the study). A pre-test, intervention, posttest design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions, which were delivered class, during school hours. Self-report questionnaires including key animal welfare knowledge scales were used as evaluation tools. ‘Farm Animal Welfare’ data were analysed using parametric statistics and ‘Wildlife Welfare’ data were analysed using non-parametric tests of difference.Main FindingsFarm Animal Welfare: Children in the intervention group increased significantly more than control group children in terms of: knowledge of sentience (F(1,119)=17.0, p=.0001, η²=.13), knowledge of welfare needs of chickens F(1,118)=6.15, p=.015, η²=.05), and understanding of the impact of farming systems on animal welfare (F(1,115)=8.81, p=.004, η²=.071). Wildlife Welfare: The intervention generated statistically significant median increases in knowledge of sentience (Child-BAM Swan, z=4.047, p=.0001, Child-BAM Hedgehog, z=4.650, p=.0001), andunderstanding of the impact of human behaviour towards wild animals (z=3.256, p=.001). There was limited change in knowledge of wild animal welfare needs.Conclusions and Implications for the FieldThese linked studies demonstrate the effectiveness of iPad games for teaching children about animal welfare. The results reveal increases in children’s knowledge of sentience and welfare needs, and a greater understanding of the impact of human behaviour on animal welfare. The games will be included in the Scottish SPCA ‘Prevention through Education’ programme reaching 300,000 children annually.

UR - http://www.isaz2018.com/

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Williams JM, Hawkins R, Ferreira GM. Enhancing children’s understanding of farm animal and wildlife welfare through interactive iPad games. 2018. 27th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Sydney, Australia.