An examination of the themes of care, emotional intelligence, and the presence of a dog in a classroom

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Rogers, Melissa Donn
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For some of the children in our classrooms today, having a connection to someone or something can be the key to improving their overall well-being, sense of self worth, and indirectly have a positive impact on their academic success. This study, through qualitative research methods, and the use of grounded theory and narrative as methods of analysis, aimed to shed light on the interconnectedness and relationship between the themes of a caring classroom, emotional intelligence, and the presence of a dog in a classroom. A total of six individuals participated in this study, over the course of a three month period. Individual interviews and a focus group discussion were conducted and allowed the emergence of six themes. These themes are; emotional connection, love and care, empathy, risk taking in a non-threatening environment, calm, and self esteem. A personal narrative, and the inclusion of several stories from the participants were included in the analysis. While this is an area of study that warrents further research and educating of colleagues prior to bringing a dog into a classroom environment, it is also an area of study that is full of possibilities and promise.
dogs in the classroom, empathy, care in the classroom, self esteem, animals in the classroom