Dogs in Learning (DiL)

Dogs In Learning is an innovative program currently implemented at ACS Athens Elementary School. The program is an aspect of the Morfosis Educational Philosophy employing "Instructional Dogs" (ie., highly trained dogs for classroom instruction as an inspirational vehicle to help children understand and apply everyday issues related to human behavior and the school curriculum.)

Learning to work with the ACS Athens Dogs improves students' self-esteem as they see their dog respond to their requests, thus providing a tangible experience in leadership and empowering students to become accountable decision makers in all areas of life. Testimonials from children when asked about their experience with the DiL Program include: "You read more because you are not shy reading to the dog," "The dog helps me to focus," "It made math fun because it was about a dog." Genuine learning in life takes place when education is meaningful.

The dogs take part & assist in the instruction process in several ways, and so they are:

  • Classroom Participants - their very presence has a calming effect on the children
  • Listening Audience - they help children in practicing reading, they boost the students' self-esteem and motivate them in eg. reading
  • Reward Providers
  • Educational Facilitators - The Dogs have shown that they can facilitate learning concepts for literacy and language development, mathematics, biology, social studies etc.; many learning activities now include the dogs
  • Social Facilitators
  • Providing Psychological Support
  • Empathy Providers