CERAP conducts scientific research around a large ecological project

child education ecology
Auteur(s) :

Hélène Bourhis - Professeure auxiliaire invitée de l'UFP, Docteure en sciences de l'éducation, psychopédagogue, Directrice adjointe du CERAP

Docteur en sciences de l'éducation. Sous directrice du CERAP et professeure auxiliaire invitée de l'UFP

Issues related to ecology and sustainable development have in recent years been a peak of interest and investment at both the national and global levels. The Opinion Way survey conducted in 2015, carried out on 1006 people representative of the French population 18 years and older, indicates that 83% of the French want the protection of nature to prevail over economic development, 96% consider above all the Nature as a place of well-being and resourcing and 89% consider it as a leisure space. These figures show the interest of the French population for nature.

With regard to the youth's perspective on the environment, a survey conducted by Pronovost G., J Robitaille and C. Payer, published in 2010 at the University of Quebec in "Trois-Rivières", questions the young people's view of nature and outdoor activities (the Questionnaire was submitted to 1297 children in 25 schools in all francophone regions of Quebec).

This study pointed out that 45% of young people are not interested in the environment, 66% lack interest and motivation for the environment and 50% do not believe that going into nature or outdoors brings them something. However, there is a desire and a need for young people to practice outdoor activities. 59% consider that the school should offer outdoor activities more often, 90% say they like to be in the wild because it makes them feel good and 84% want to do more outdoor activities in the wilderness.

"The great Secret of the Link" is an immersion in nature involving 50 children, teenagers and young adults from 5 regions of France, in their connection with nature. The experience of nature-filled travel will take place from September 2017 to June 2018. Participants are divided into groups of 10 per region for 20 and 25 days.


Beyond the animation carried out by "nature passers" around a programme aimed at educating young people about nature, the CERAP, under the direction of Hélène Bourhis, Doctor of Education Sciences, was asked to assess the effects of this Sensitive experience on the participants in this immersion.

The programme of this trip is built on the basis of a pedagogical programme carried out by the "nature passers" who are skilled professionals with a core role in environmental education and by educators of perception who will propose Techniques of listening, touching, and actions that will promote the sensitive connection with nature and the rehabilitation of the place of the body, the feeling and the body consciousness in relation with nature.

In the context of the sensitive experience proposed in the "great Secret of the Link" we will study through a qualitative and phenomenological approach, the effects of bodily and sensitive education on the link of young people with nature and on the catches of Awareness that will emerge from this sensitive report.

We will evaluate a set of experiences that are directly related to the discovery of nature and to the sensitive experience by relying on categories including the notions of well-being (pleasure, fitness, relaxation), situations of challenges (Adventure, passing, competition), the relation to others (socialization, communication), the relationship to nature (rapprochement with nature, contemplation), the sensitive experience (perceptions felt, experiences of the body), and the return to oneself (escape, Emotions, introspection, awareness, decisions) and the deployment of new attitudes towards nature (ecological behaviour)

To carry out their project, the initiators and organizers launched a call for donations. If you want to allow the "big secret of the link " To see the day, go to the site of crowdfunding.

Hélène Bourhis