Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Burchfield, Keri

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


This paper explores the subject of humane education, its history, and how it can influence social change. Specifically, how the development of empathy combined with raising awareness of various issues in classrooms helps to promote compassion. This, in turn, inspires students to take action to tackle the issues they are passionate about. The study includes a participant observation study at the Lifetime bonds program at the Illinois Youth Center through Safe Humane Chicago. This program works with incarcerated youth and pairs them with dogs from a local shelter with the goal to promote empathy for animals and awareness of animal issues. The findings from the animal-assisted programs in the scientific literature and from my own observation suggest that humane education does have positive impacts on empathy development. These findings are mostly qualitative and further, more in-depth studies still need to be done on the effectiveness of humane education programs.


25 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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Media Type