wildlife associates educational methodology

Our methodology

Instead of inundating the audience with huge amounts of scientific facts, our programs focus on having students develop a relational and empathic way of seeing, in which the person becomes an active participant in the web of life.

We call this highly specialized educational methodology “Natural Systems Teaching.” Based on results from cognitive studies on how humans learn and retain information in long-term memory, it uses living wildlife within an experiential learning environment to help nature become a dynamic, living, interactive world full of intimate relationships among all life.

At the core of these teaching strategies are the “wild teachers.” These wonderful living animals are an integral part of Natural Systems Teaching. The wild teachers capture students’ attention and encourage direct learning—an experience that parallels the learning of humans for the thousands of years before the emergence of books and computers. Learning directly through the senses while forming and experiencing new relationships with living things opens us up to a new world of knowledge, awareness and focus. By directly observing live wild animals, students begin to develop a living relationship with the wild earth.

The focus of Wildlife Associates educational programs is to empower and awaken our compassion for living things and to develop a new knowledge base, leaving the next generation with the motivation to act responsibly toward the earth. Learning complex environmental concepts can be challenging for anyone, but having animals—alive and breathing—in front of us delivers this important message in a way no human can.

Our programs help students learn respect and responsibility for ecological systems in a way they can relate to regardless of their age—and once students see that the human species has the same dependence on natural systems as other species, it is clearly understood that protecting nature is protecting ourselves.