Webb M. Humane education in Portugal: Innovation in teacher’s training [abstract]. ALTEX. 2005;22(Special Issue):22


Introduction: Portuguese Secondary Schools, as the majority of educational institutions around the world, use animals in lab works. Although no accurate numbers can be found, visits to several schools, and informal conversations with teachers point out that a significant number of mice, rabbits, pigeons, and organs of different farm animals are used. In this way, teachers try to comply with programs which completely ignore the existence of alternative methods to the use of animals in education. The programs are intended to adolescent students (ages 16 to 18) who will at higher educational levels, accept the use of animals for experimental purposes without any constraint.

Methods: Secondary School curricula study enabled us to organise the first official Humane Education Course in Portugal. The 25 hours Course has been accepted by the Ministry of Education, and covers areas important for the implementation of a humane school system, such as animal sentience, animal rights and welfare, anthrozoology, and alternative methods to the use of animals in education. Different loan systems for alternatives were used.

Results and Discussion: The twenty teachers had a fruitful “hands on” experience, and became the ambassadors of a long due change in mentalities, and attitudes. Their relationship with computers, and multimedia changed. These are now currently used as tools for a humane teaching. These teachers are demonstrating the powerful and encouraging network effect.


Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation