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Educational guidelines

Our goals are:

  • to awaken interest in the needs of animals
  • to consciously confront the humanization of animals
  • to recognize us humans as part of nature

Mission and vision

Zoos have a significant role to play in educating visitors about the need to conserve biodiversity - the greater the pressure on ecosystems, the more urgent this task becomes.

Following the slogan of Frankfurt Zoo "Experience animals - conserve nature", the overall aim of the educational work is to raise the environmental awareness of the zoo public and to communicate the different levels of biodiversity and their importance in order to ensure a more sustainable future and to work together to counteract the rapid loss of biodiversity.

The basic requirement for achieving this goal is to encourage visitors to develop an understanding of the needs of animals and to consciously counteract humanisation through insights into ecological-ethological contexts.

For us, zoo animals are ambassadors of their conspecifics in the wild, with whose help we help to recognise fascinating adaptation strategies of animals in connection with their habitat and explain certain behavioural expressions.

The communication of the regularities of biological systems, i.e. insights into the laws of nature, also serve as a basis for generating an understanding of the environment.

Humans must not only understand animals and plants as part of the natural environment, but also themselves. This is the only way to recognise the influence of human activities on the environment, to understand and classify environmentally destructive human activities as threat factors and to develop solutions for protective measures.

The aim is to encourage people to review their own environmentally conscious behaviour and to demonstrate possibilities for local environmental protection.

The Education Department views the zoo as a space for the exchange of ideas and social awareness.


The most important principle in education is clarity. The focus lies on observing the animals, reinforced by the use of various preparations that appeal to our different senses.

The teaching methods are multi-sensory, playful, exemplary, creative (drawing, photography, etc.) and adapted to the different target groups in terms of difficulty and language.

We work phenomenologically, i.e. starting from our own observation, the visible.

In doing so, we enter into direct exchange with the participants of a pedagogical offer via impulse questions and thus involve the participants in an active exchange of opinions, which we guide and moderate in a productive way.

We motivate participants to engage with the content and raise curiosity, e.g. through fascinating facts, interesting visual objects and anecdotes. We create arcs of suspense within the events by changing methods and enable participants to participate emotionally.

Changing methods means alternating between explaining, asking questions, discussing, role-playing, guided animal observations as well as appealing to different senses, telling anecdotes etc. within an educational programme.

We try to take into account the different learning types of people (visual, haptic, acoustic, olfactory) in our offers.

We ensure a positive, fear-free atmosphere by not embarrassing anyone, taking every comment seriously at first, even if it is factually incorrect, in order to talk about it. We reinforce through praise and enable a sense of achievement.

A central theme ensures transparency and enables participants to follow the content.

Questions to participants are well thought out and alternate between open and closed questions, depending on the content.

We educate ourselves by participating in national and international conferences in order to meet the following goals:

Learning by doing - hands on

Learning by thinking - minds on

Learning by involving ourselves - hearts on

Target group

The Education Department teaches biological and zoo-specific content as well as conservation topics to people of all ages from 4 years old, of all school levels, of all social classes, with a wide range of previous biological knowledge and often of different nationalities. We also offer opportunities for blind, mentally and/or physically impaired people to make use of our programmes.