Capstone Project Title
Shelly Orr, Maggie Struck
Research has shown that by including animals in therapeutic and educational experiences progress can be made in improving the quality of our education and the quality of our lives. This project focused on filling a gap seen in Minnesota’s environmental education programs. There are many environmental learning centers in Minnesota and many different animal assisted therapy programs focusing on physical, mental and emotional health, but there is not a program that is dedicated to bringing our domesticated animals into the curriculum in environmental education. The Environmental Learning Farm is an theoretical and experimental project that could bridge the gap that exists in environmental education in Minnesota. It can give the opportunities for the agriculture community to open its doors to the public to learn about what farmers do and why they do it, what keeps them from making more environmentally friendly choices in their agriculture practices, and what would they need in order to change their practices. The program designed specifically for this project is called Horses, Humans and Health. The objective of Horses, Humans and Health is to open the community to the idea that our domesticated animals can have positive and negative impacts on our environment, and how we as humans that control their environment can improve it not only for our animals but ourselves and the rest of the species that occupy the area. It also provides experiences for the participants to learn more about horses’ health and behaviors, learn how to communicate with another species and understand the significance behind the bond of horses and humans. The program has the goal of not only teaching humans about horses, but also about natural curiosity, animals-human connections, compassion for the entire environment, and confidence in affecting change. The goal of the Environmental Learning Farm is to provide opportunities for the local community to understand that environmental science and education can take place anywhere on earth and not just in a nature preserve or a forested area with little human influence. The Environmental Learning Farm is a business plan to bridge a gap of agriculture practices and environmental education.
Business Plan and Curriculum
Adult Education, Character Education, Community Building, Environmental Studies
Soronen, Kellie, "Animal Assisted Environmental Education Program Design: The Environmental Learning Farm" (2023). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 930.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects