Students (ages 6, 10, and 15 years) in six countries knowledge of animals

  • Patricia Patrick Texas Tech University
  • Jenny Byrne University of Southampton
  • Sue Dale Tunnicliffe Institute of Education, University of London
  • Tuula Asunta Unversity of Jyväskylä
  • Graça S. Carvalho University of Minho Campus de Gualtar
  • Sari Havu-Nuutinen Unversity of Jyväskylä
  • Hrefna Sigurjónsdóttir University of Iceland
  • Gunnhildur Óskarsdóttir University of Iceland
  • Rosa Branca Tracana University of Minho


This article considers the knowledge students (ages 6, 10, and 15 years) have of animals from a cross-cultural perspective. Students from six countries (Brazil, England, Finland, Iceland, Portugal, and the United States of America) were asked to free-list as many animals as possible and state where they had seen or learned about the animals. The results were analyzed and they indicate that 1) Students are aware of animals. 2) Students are more aware of mammals as examples of animals. 3) There is a globally shared folk biological knowledge of animals. 4) Students learn about animals during sociocultural interactions. The educational implications are discussed.