The impact of the Classroom Canines program on children's reading, social and emotional skills and motivation to attend school

Sorin, Reesa, Brooks, Tamara, and Lloyd, Janice (2015) The impact of the Classroom Canines program on children's reading, social and emotional skills and motivation to attend school. The International Journal of Literacies, 22 (2). pp. 23-35.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (414kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


New, Wilson and Netting's 1986 research demonstrated that domestic animals are an integral component of many people’s social support network. While such animals, particularly dogs, have since been successfully used as therapy dogs in clinical situations since the 1960s, the use of dogs in the learning environment has only recently been trialled. Turner (2011) evaluated the use of dogs within the adult learning environment, ultimately concluding that dogs can be a beneficial bridge between adults and education. Jenkins (2009) and Sorin (2012) investigated the value of dogs within the primary school system, finding benefits including enhanced literacy, and improved social skills. Bassette and Taber-Doughty (2013) found that on-task behavior increased in primary school students with emotional and behavioural disabilities through a dog reading program. Increasingly, the value of dogs within a variety of learning environments, is being recognized. In Australia, the Delta Society's 'Classroom Canines' program, where children read to dogs, was developed to assist children with literacy and/or social/emotional skills. This research investigated the impact of the Classroom CaninesTM program on the reading, social/emotional skills and motivation to attend school of 11 students, aged 5 – 11, in a primary school in Australia. All students had been identified as falling below, or being at risk of falling below, the academic benchmarks for their year level. The study used both quantitative and qualitative data, including reading scores, attendance records, classroom observations, interviews with teachers and students, and researcher journals. The study found that reading scores and attendance improved, but further that children were more motivated to learn, felt better about themselves as learners, and seemed to get along better with their peers.

Item ID: 39585
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2327-266X
Additional Information:

Author Reesa Sorin has arranged with Common Ground for the accepted versions of 15 of her articles to be available under open access for a once off fee. Email saved to Supp Docs folder.

Some Rights Reserved. Public Licensed Material: Available under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). The use of this material is permitted for non-commercial use provided the creator(s) and publisher receive attribution. No derivatives of this version are permitted. Official terms of this public license apply as indicated here:

Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 04:46
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL) @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1473
Last 12 Months: 129
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page