Education Philosophy

Voiceless works to educate and inspire a new generation to think critically and make positive changes for animals. Animal Protection Education (APE) is a ground-breaking new approach to education, which invites students to think critically about important animal protection and sustainability issues.

Voiceless makes it as easy as possible for teachers to introduce this crucial content into the classroom. Our curriculum-aligned teaching and learning programs are committed to providing students with the knowledge they need to consider, analyse and debate differing perspectives on thought-provoking and relevant topics, as well as the tools to question for themselves what it means to act with kindness, respect, integrity, and compassion in our ever-changing world.

This pedagogical approach follows the inquiry learning model, which encourages students to think critically about the various scientific, ethical, political, and environmental questions that arise from the issues explored.

We have embedded the Australian Curriculum’s General Capabilities into our sequence of learning, with a focus on Personal and Social Capability and Ethical Understanding. All units of work are linked to the cross-curricular priority of Sustainability, which promotes positive change and encourages action.

Voiceless aims to enable learners to reflect on their personal citizenship, actions and responsibilities within our world, helping them on their path to making informed ethical judgements and preparing them for a life outside the classroom.  We recognise that today’s youth are tomorrow’s change-makers. Access our APE resources here

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has Voiceless developed the APE program?

There is a distinct lack of formal youth education exploring animal protection issues, despite their importance and relevance to most elements of modern life. We believe that all secondary school students should have the opportunity to learn about these crucial issues during their formal education. Our APE resources introduce high-school students to a wide range of animal protection issues and concepts by encouraging research, discussion and debate. High-school educators use our resources to bring key animal protection issues into the classroom in an age-appropriate and professional manner so that students can engage with the factual information they need to question, consider and discuss new concepts and issues. Read more about why we have chosen to focus on youth Animal Protection Education on the Voiceless Blog here

Why do Voiceless APE resources encourage ‘critical thinking’?

Should we ban live export? Are fishes sentient? What are the welfare issues raised by dolphin captivity? Why are animals classified as human property under the law? We let the students answer. Voiceless APE resources encourage students to use their critical thinking skills to discuss and debate topical animal protection issues and concepts. By providing teachers and students with the information they need to question, consider and discuss the issues for themselves, we are helping to raise awareness and understanding amongst the next generation of change-makers. 

How are Voiceless APE materials developed?

APEs are created by the Voiceless education team, consisting of high school and tertiary educators with decades of teaching experience between them. Voiceless seeks to include a diverse range of perspectives, and ensures that all statements are verified and supported by thorough scientific, legal and policy research. To ensure that our resources contain the most up-to-date and comprehensive information, we often collaborate with subject matter experts, including scientists, lawyers, teachers, advocates and academics. We also regularly seek feedback from a wide range of educators, as part of an ongoing evaluation process designed to keep our resources relevant, engaging and useful. 

What do teachers say about APE resources?

To ensure our APE materials are of the highest possible quality and utility, we conduct annual feedback interviews with a range of experienced Australian high school teachers. The responses to date have been overwhelmingly positive.

  • ‘The approach adopted so far is spot on. The breadth and range of options is fabulous. You could pick up these materials and run them very easily as a teacher. I was struck at how well organised and professional it all is.’ (Simon, High School Teacher, VIC).
  • ‘The materials were all really well presented, Voiceless have done a great job!’ (Amy, High School Teacher, NSW)
  • ‘It’s extremely professional looking and I’m excited to use it myself. I’ve looked for material like this before and not found a great deal that was helpful or relevant.’ (Madeline, High School Teacher, TAS)
  • ‘These materials are filling a need, and it’s very important. All of the material is thoughtfully created and structured.’ (Alex, High School Teacher, NSW)
  • ‘It is  about making well-rounded  citizens  who  move out into the world and have the ability to think critically and make responsible decisions.’ (Sharyn Rix, Head of Drama and LOTE at Kempsey High School, NSW)
Does Voiceless offer school talks?

We deliver informative online presentations to secondary schools across the country. Our school talks are provided free of charge, and can be adapted to suit the needs of individual classes. All presentations are delivered by our Education Program Coordinator Hanna Lucas, a highly experienced English teacher. To arrange a presentation at your secondary school, please contact Hanna: education@voiceless.org.au

Is Voiceless able to provide information on Animal Law to high schools?

We are available to provide information and presentations on Animal Law to secondary schools interested in the subject area. Voiceless has a proud history of working in collaboration with lawyers, law firms and legal institutions to develop and promote the role of law in animal protection. As a leader in animal law, Voiceless hired Australia’s first animal lawyer in 2004 and ran a successful 10-year animal law lecture series featuring high-profile international legal experts. Voiceless has supported the proliferation of scholarly writing on animal law, the publishing of multiple legal text books, academic conferences and an ever-expanding list of individuals and organisations dedicated to the study and practice of animal law. Currently, Voiceless is continuing to build the animal law movement in Australia through our Animal Law Education (ALE) program, creating high-quality legal education materials in partnership with the Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education. We have produced one APE in the field of Animal Law, exploring the concept of legal personhood for animals. Access the APE here

Further questions?

If you would like further information about our APE resources, please contact our Education Program Coordinator, Hanna Lucas: education@voiceless.org.au