The truth is, I’ve always been a fan of Jane Goodall. I discovered my love for animals and nature in my early childhood, and the moment I found out who Jane Goodall was – how she lived in the jungle, what her ideas were, how she communicated with chimpanzees – I was impressed.
Jane Goodall is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in this field, and her contribution to the study of chimpanzees and conservation is enormous. Moreover, she paved the way for many successful primatologists and anthropologists who came after her.
My childhood dream to move to the jungle to study animals perhaps didn’t come true, but I took a couple of Anthropology and Conservation classes during my studies. That said, I was very excited to take the Jane Goodall MasterClass and learn from this incredibly inspiring woman. But were my high expectations met? Dr. Goodall is a brilliant scientist, but is she also a good teacher?
Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
What is the Jane Goodall MasterClass?
“Jane Goodall teaches Conservation” is an online course offered by MasterClass, a reputable online learning platform known for its incredible team of instructors.
Dr. Jane Goodall is a respected anthropologist and one of the world’s most famous experts on chimpanzees. She is best known for her study of chimp behavior in Gombe, Tanzania, and that’s precisely how this MasterClass begins – with Goodall’s story on what led her to Africa.
Besides telling the story of her discovery of her passion for Africa, Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, the similarities between chimps and humans, climate change, and many other important topics. She talks about extinction and destruction of the environment, but she also focuses on hope and what we can all do to make this a better world.
This is a rather extensive course, featuring 29 video lessons with a duration of 5hr 19 min in total. The classes are well-structured and easy to follow. Plus, learning in chunks (as all MasterClasses allow you to do) is proven to be an effective method of learning and retaining information.
Who is Jane Goodall?
Born in 1934 in England, Jane Goodall is known as the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.
At the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is now Tanzania and began the life-changing journey that led her to groundbreaking studies. Through nearly 60 years of work, Dr. Goodall has observed our closest relatives and changed the way we see them. She has also shown the world the urgent need to protect the chimpanzees and their environment.
As the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots program, Jane Goodall has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues.
Goodall is the author of many books, including “In the Shadow of Man,” “Through A Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe,” and “The Book of Hope.” She is also the subject of more than 40 films and documentaries.
Jane Goodall is still spreading hope and reminding people that they can make a difference. As a UN Messenger of Peace, she travels more than 300 days each year to speak about the challenges facing chimpanzees and the environment.
What is the target audience for the Jane Goodall MasterClass?
Jane Goodall’s MasterClass is suitable for young learners and students as well as adults who want to learn more about conservation, the environment, climate change, and the behavior of animals. Dr. Goodall’s approach is very friendly, and she communicates in a very calm yet informative and inspiring manner. That said, her classes can benefit you no matter what your skills, education, and goals are.
On the other hand, I think there’s a lack of more complex and recent information about climate change and animal agriculture. So, if you’re already been exploring these topics, you won’t get more in-depth knowledge here.
Nevertheless, I like this course because I believe Jane Goodall’s message is extremely important – perhaps now more than ever. Her experience and knowledge are the foundation of her classes, but her passion and communication skills are what make them so effective.
To make things even clearer, here are some of the people who can benefit from Jane Goodall’s course:
- Aspiring primatologists and scientists
- Experienced scientists who need encouragement
- People who want to learn what they can do to make a difference
- People who have been following and appreciating Jane Goodall’s work and activism
What does Jane Goodall teach in this course?
In her MasterClass, Jane Goodall focuses on three things: conservation, animal intelligence, and activism.
Through stories about her own life and work, she talks about the importance of our actions, whether we’re talking about eating less meat or getting more information on a certain topic. She also gives many examples from her time spent with chimpanzees to explain the similarities between chimps and humans.
This is a well-rounded course that covers a wide range of topics, but all of these topics are tackled in a very specific way – from the perspective of someone who experienced it first-hand.
Let’s take a quick look at all the lessons Jane Goodall’s class entails:
- In the first two lessons, Jane Goodall explains what she’s going to talk about in the course and tells an interesting story of how she became interested in animals and conservation
- Lessons 3-7 are focused on Goodall’s work in Gombe, her studies, and her insights into the complex behaviors of chimpanzees
- Lessons 8-11 are focused on humans and their relations to chimpanzees and the environment in general
- Lessons 12-13 are on threats to animals and forms of animal cruelty
- Lessons 14-18 revolve around climate change and issues regarding water, land, and industrial agriculture, as well as the ways of combating the negative effects of industrial agriculture
- Lessons 19-20 shed light on the problem of animal agriculture. In these lessons, Goodall also talks about advocacy strategies and many ways we can make an impact
- Lessons 21-23 are on the importance of effective communication and building communication skills
- Lessons 24-39 are focused on the future, the next generation, and reasons for hope
Some of my favorite lessons from the Jane Goodall MasterClass
As I mentioned before, Jane Goodall covers a lot of relevant topics and tells many interesting stories to point out certain things. So, it’s not easy to pick the best lessons, but here are a few of my personal favorites.
Dreams of Africa
In her second lesson, Dr. Goodall talks about her early childhood and how her mother helped her nurture her scientific curiosity. Through her personal story, she emphasizes the importance of never giving up and taking advantage of opportunities.
She also talks about the books about Tarzan and Dr. Dolittle that helped her discover her first passion for Africa.
Food as activism
In this important lesson, Jane Goodall suggests you can become an activist by choosing what you buy and what you eat. She praises farmer’s markets and the possibility of growing your own food.
She also talks about vegetarianism – as she points out, it isn’t just about ethics. The problem of animal agriculture is also related to toxic waste, waste of water as well as harmful impacts on our health.
After talking about issues regarding excessive farming and destruction of the environment, Jane talks about the things you can do to make a difference.
She claims that it’s important to think locally (instead of globally) – this way, you can also act locally, instead of feeling helpless and overwhelmed by the current state of affairs.
How much does the Jane Goodall MasterClass cost?
As a subscription-based learning platform, MasterClass does not offer an option to purchase their courses individually. Therefore, you can’t buy Jane Goodall’s MasterClass – you’ll have to buy the full subscription instead.
The annual subscription to Masterclass costs $120 per year (down from the previous $180), or $10 per month. If you subscribe to MasterClass, you’ll get unlimited access to all the courses – and we’re talking about a catalog of 180+ classes. Therefore, it’s fair to say that MasterClass subscription offers great value for money – as long as there are a few MasterClasses that interest you (and there most likely are!).
Importantly, MasterClass also offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Therefore, if you’re not happy with the platform and your learning experience, you can require a full refund.
All in all, taking a single MasterClass course is expensive – but if you want to take multiple classes over the course of the year, it’s definitely worth it.
What I liked about the Jane Goodall MasterClass
Overall, I really enjoyed Jane Goodall’s MasterClass. I think it’s very interesting and motivating, especially if you’ve been an admirer of Jane Goodall for many years now.
Here are some of the aspects of the course I liked the most:
Examples and stories
In her lessons, Jane Goodall shares many interesting stories from her past – she talks about her time in Tanzania, but she also shares stories from her personal life. For instance, to prove how we can all make a difference, she tells a story of how her mother helped introduce free-range eggs to supermarkets in Britain. The story is short and personal, but it manages to get the message across.
Jane Goodall’s approach
Certainly, Jane Goodall is a brilliant scientist and explorer. But she is also a fantastic teacher and storyteller. She speaks in a very calm way, but her lessons are never dry or boring. She has a unique way of talking about rather grim topics; she is honest and straightforward, yet she’s warm and compassionate. She is aware of the importance of a sense of humor, and she believes she can affect people by listening and communicating instead of arguing. In addition to her wisdom and experience, it’s really hard not to leave this class unaffected by her words.
It’s not only how she speaks, it’s also about what she’s speaking about. In terms of content, this course is extremely important – and in my opinion, it should be a mandatory course for every student.
In this course, Jane Goodall talks about her observation of chimpanzees, but she also talks about their extinction, the destruction of the environment, and what we can all do to right the wrongs. In this day and age, hearing this message again and again is crucial. Without a doubt, facing these issues is scary, but thanks to Goodall’s approach, you’ll leave this course feeling hopeful and motivated rather than discouraged and helpless.
Top-notch production quality
Although this is true for every MasterClass course, the videos are truly amazing – they are beautifully shot, and the quality is top-notch. The inclusion of short clips and footage of Jane with the chimps is also a nice touch.
What I didn’t like about the Jane Goodall MasterClass
Honestly, there are not many things I didn’t like about this course. However, there might be one thing that could be considered as a drawback.
Lack of theory
In her MasterClass, Jane Goodall talks about animal intelligence and chimpanzee behavior. However, she doesn’t delve deeper into more complex facts and theories, and she doesn’t focus on the latest research that much. This could be a disadvantage for aspiring primatologists and scientists who came here to gain more scientific knowledge.
Also, if you’re already familiar with the issues related to animal agriculture and climate change, you probably won’t get any new information.
Review conclusion: Is the Jane Goodall MasterClass worth it?
Overall, I think Jane Goodall’s is definitely worth taking. Jane is a fantastic teacher, and her way of telling stories is very soothing as well as motivating.
Yes, I didn’t learn anything new regarding climate change and animal agriculture. I’m interested in these topics, so I’m already familiar with everything she said in the course. However, I heard some new stories from her field research as well as some examples from her personal life.
More importantly, I felt very inspired and motivated during the course. Jane reminded me of what our role in this world could be and encouraged me to keep making a difference in my own way.
I believe the purpose of this course is the same as the purpose of Jane’s talks and presentations: to inspire change. And she obviously does a tremendous job of sharing knowledge as well as motivating people to think about the world they live in – to really notice it – and to do something each day to make it just a little bit better for everyone.