Kindergarten Children's Perception of Animals Focusing on the Look and Fear of Animals*

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study is focusing on the finding out the children's perceiving of animals from the view of look and fear. The additional aims were to find out the influence of gender and age on the perceiving of animals from the view of look and fear. The sample size was created by the 27 Czech kindergarten children from two kindergartens. The number of 5 years old children was 13 and rest was 6-years old children. The number of boys was 17 and number of girls was 10. The procedure included face-to-face closed interview with every children individually. The ten colored pictures with animals were presented to children. The questions were focused on the identification of animals, evaluation of animals according the look and the fear. There was not find out significant influence of gender and age on the results. In the conclusion of study are suggested some implications.

Key Words

Animals, Identification, Kindergarten Children, Look, Fear.

The perceiving of animals is very important for the securing of the good relationship between human and nature. However, there exists the situation, the mostly of people distinguish between "good" and "bad" animals. The bad animals are considered for harmful and useless. People do not protect them, because they have not got correct information or they are without information about these kinds of animals. There is a problem; the opinions of adults are very hard transformable, also high school and college students are changing hard their opinions. So, the kindergarten children are influenced their teacher, parents and relatives, so they can change own opinion. On the basis of this fact, it seems to be important to find out kindergarten children's perception of animals, if children distinguish between good and bad animals, why they like some animals and some not. If they have got fear from some animals and why they have got fear.

Theoretical Background

The studies, which are focusing on the perception of kindergarten children of animals, are very rare. The studies relating to kindergarten children's perception of animals are unknown. The researchers are predominantly focused on the lower secondary school pupils and high school students' perception of animals. The part of studies is focused on the influence of pet on perceptions of animals. For example Melson (2001), Morrow (1998) described attitudes toward animals of pet owners. Very interesting study from Prokop and Tunnicliffe (2010) described the effect of pet owning on the attitudes and knowledge of respondents about animals. Having pets at home was associated with more positive attitudes to, and better knowledge of, both popular and unpopular animals. Girls were less favorably inclined in comparison with boys to animals that may pose a threat, danger or disease to them. Batt (2009) investigated whether there is a link between bio-behavioural similarity to humans and preferences for animal species that are obtained when subjects view a set of 40 pictures illustrating a wide diversity of animals. Extensive data regarding the natural history, behavior and physiology of 40 species of animals from a wide range of taxonomic groups were collected. Bio-behavioral similarity between animal species and humans was formed on the basis of multidimensional analyses, including factors such as size, weight and lifespan among the physical attributes, and reproductive strategy, parental investment and social organization among the behavioral traits. It was found that a clear relationship between similarity and preference exists, suggesting that humans are predisposed to liking species on the basis of shared bio-behavioral traits. Lindemann-Matthies (2005) investigated which plants and animals Swiss children found most attractive and evaluated the effect of an educational program on children's preferences for species.

A considerable number of studies on attitudes towards animals have recorded gender differences. Lindemann-Matthies (2005) showed males generally like wild and exotic animals whilst females rather prefer pets. …