Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194998
Title:
Barriers to Live Animal Handling Training for Zoo Volunteers
Author:
Tygielski, Susanne C.
Issue Date:
2005
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Zoos and museums utilize docents, or volunteer educators, to help educate and entertain visitors through live animal demonstrations. Preparing volunteers to handle live animals is complex because volunteers must learn animal handling techniques, emergency protocols, interpretive material, be able to simultaneously show and monitor the animal, talk about it, take visitor questions, and be aware of safety concerns. Zoos are held accountable for animal welfare as a priority as well as volunteer and visitor safety.This study investigated barriers to preparing adult volunteers to handle live animals at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. Adult docents and training staff members were interviewed about their perceptions of barriers from the previous year's animal handling training. Ten individual docent interviews, two docent focus groups, and four staff member interviews provided information about animal handling training challenges.Barriers included the resistance to change; specifically volunteers needed to recognize why changes in protocols were necessary so they would support changes. Volunteers expressed the desire to be part of the change with staff members rather than having protocols delivered to them. Miscommunication was a second barrier, originating from lack of consistent communication systems and volunteers feeling left out of the change process. Another barrier was volunteers' perception of authority in that volunteers invested time questioning staff about program changes based on staff qualifications rather than utilizing their time working with the animals. A fourth barrier was that volunteers shared that they felt pressure to perform or else they feel as though they failed part of their volunteer job. Finally recognizing that volunteers learn in different ways was a fifth barrier and many volunteers suggested the need to address a variety of learning styles.Adult learning theory provided a theoretical framework from which the barriers could be investigated. Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory (1984) suggests that volunteers need to have animal handling training lessons presented with different teaching techniques or styles. Investing time into training staff about learning theories and teaching techniques may circumvent struggles with volunteers learning new techniques.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
animal demonstrations; zoo; volunteer training; live animal; animal interpretations
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Teaching & Teacher Education; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Johnson, Bruce
Committee Chair:
Johnson, Bruce

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleBarriers to Live Animal Handling Training for Zoo Volunteersen_US
dc.creatorTygielski, Susanne C.en_US
dc.contributor.authorTygielski, Susanne C.en_US
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractZoos and museums utilize docents, or volunteer educators, to help educate and entertain visitors through live animal demonstrations. Preparing volunteers to handle live animals is complex because volunteers must learn animal handling techniques, emergency protocols, interpretive material, be able to simultaneously show and monitor the animal, talk about it, take visitor questions, and be aware of safety concerns. Zoos are held accountable for animal welfare as a priority as well as volunteer and visitor safety.This study investigated barriers to preparing adult volunteers to handle live animals at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. Adult docents and training staff members were interviewed about their perceptions of barriers from the previous year's animal handling training. Ten individual docent interviews, two docent focus groups, and four staff member interviews provided information about animal handling training challenges.Barriers included the resistance to change; specifically volunteers needed to recognize why changes in protocols were necessary so they would support changes. Volunteers expressed the desire to be part of the change with staff members rather than having protocols delivered to them. Miscommunication was a second barrier, originating from lack of consistent communication systems and volunteers feeling left out of the change process. Another barrier was volunteers' perception of authority in that volunteers invested time questioning staff about program changes based on staff qualifications rather than utilizing their time working with the animals. A fourth barrier was that volunteers shared that they felt pressure to perform or else they feel as though they failed part of their volunteer job. Finally recognizing that volunteers learn in different ways was a fifth barrier and many volunteers suggested the need to address a variety of learning styles.Adult learning theory provided a theoretical framework from which the barriers could be investigated. Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory (1984) suggests that volunteers need to have animal handling training lessons presented with different teaching techniques or styles. Investing time into training staff about learning theories and teaching techniques may circumvent struggles with volunteers learning new techniques.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectanimal demonstrationsen_US
dc.subjectzooen_US
dc.subjectvolunteer trainingen_US
dc.subjectlive animalen_US
dc.subjectanimal interpretationsen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineTeaching & Teacher Educationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorJohnson, Bruceen_US
dc.contributor.chairJohnson, Bruceen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberArenas, Albertoen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDoyle, Walteren_US
dc.identifier.proquest1409en_US
dc.identifier.oclc137355511en_US
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