Animal Wisdom

Citation data:

CONFERENCE: Curriculum Studies Summer Collaborative Conference (CSSC)

Curriculum Studies Summer Collaborative Conference (CSSC)

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Morris, Marla B.; Doll, Mary Aswell
Animal; Therapy; Curriculum studies; Dog; Help; Knowing; Humananimal; Nonhuman animal; Subjectivity; Wisdom; Mechanical man; Fiction; Dialogue; Curriculum and Instruction; Curriculum and Social Inquiry; Academic Units, Education, Curriculum, Foundations & Reading, Faculty Presentations
lecture / presentation description
Animal Subjectivities, Animal Assisted Therapy and Curriculum Studies (Morris) is a paper presentation that sets out to do two things. 1) Morris wants to show that nonhuman animals are complex creatures with complex subjectivities. Thus Morris examines the literature on animal subjectivity 2) Morris explores literature on what is termed Animal Assisted Therapy in connection with curriculum studies. Most scholars argue that AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) must be carried out in a clinical setting (here dogs are considered helpers but not therapists) but Morris argues that dogs are therapists and this kind of therapy (dog-therapy) can be carried out anywhere and especially in educative settings. AAT scholars argue that AAT is meant to help people with all kinds of physical and mental disabilities such as: reading disabilities, mental illness, blindness, deafness, epilepsy, speech problems, battle injuries, those suffering from PTSD from school shootings, Down Syndrome and autism.Mary Doll in her paper titled The Knowing Dog argues that myth and story tellers have always viewed the natural world inhabited by plants and animals as sacred. Our human ancestors once knew this: knew our proper place in the wide cycle of life and death. Jack London, a 20th century writer of Yukon stories, presents a fictional dialogue between nature and technology in his short story "To Build a Fire." The antagonist is us, represented in what Doll calls The Mechanical Man, and the three protagonists are the white arctic landscape, the old man ancestor figure, and the dog. London's deliberate use of "mind" language with the dog suggests that it is the dog, not the human, who understands better the ways of the natural world.