History: Budapest Zoo was founded in 1866 and over this more than 150 years of education there were several success stories such as trainings for staff members to graduate in animal keeping, the Friends of the Zoo Club for teachers, city competitions for primary and secondary schools, publications and magazines, teacher trainings and of course special events. In the historical surroundings it is possible to point on native architecture of regions as well as the human impacts. Nowadays the zoo’s geographical concept needs more complexity, focusing on the sustainable aspects of habitats and inhabitants.
Professional background: Zooeducation Group of 5 full time educators and 12 demonstrators runs the educational programmes. Also volunteers help with the Zoo Tales programmes, trainees use to work during festivals and programmes and students of teacher training collages run own educational projects. Employed zooeducators are teachers (biology-geography) and zoological or agricultural professionals.
Purpose: Role of education in zoos is like the bow and arrow – scientific and conservation message is quite useless without a tool to target. In Budapest Zoo we do as much as possible to fascinate our visitors with the diversity of life and to involve them to our conservation work. Zooeducation is all about this effort through public awarness programmes, activities and special offer for schools.
Principle: The concept of zoo education should be targeted at the entire zoo visitation, therefore „Zoo Tales” concept has been accepted in the zoo’s masterplan. Zoo Tales concept means real personal meetings of visitors, animals and staff members, chance for experimental learning and activities throurgout the zoo.
Informal education: Eudcational aspect is essential in zoo design as well as in collection planning. Of course Budapest Zoo use various visitors’ information system: directional signs, exhibit headers, animal identification and natural history signs, conservation message panels, interactives and sensitive subject signs.
Formal education: Budapest Zoo’s formal education activities are based on the national curriculum and life-long-learning concept. We prowide talks, lessons and guided tours for all age groups. Different animal displays and shows run from April to November nearly every day. Every season has a special weeklong festival as thematic event. For visitors with special needs the zoo organises special days and projects (aslo special information system) and participates in Dreamnight at the Zoo programme.
Our aim is to support teachers to be competent in zooeducation and to encourage them to have their own programmes in the zoo. Hence we had launched a 60 hours, professional postgraduate course and also a Zooeducation Club for teachers. Above that we organise one-day trainings, seminars and workshops and help in set-up local curriculums.
For supporting the education in the zoo Budapest Zoo produces publications and educational materials, worksheets.
Networking: We are members of IZE (International ZooEducators) www.izea.net, EZE (European ZooEducators) www.eaza.net, Federation of Hungarian Zoos (FHZ) Zooeducation Team. Moreover we cooperate with other institutions like museums, universities and NGOs.
Projekt on Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden: LEHUA
Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
1146 Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 6-12.
Phone: (+36-1) 273-4900,