Teach yourself to nature instead of ‘reconnecting’ with it

Dimitri de Boissieu is an ecologist by training and a teacher in nature and the environment. he is an author Bolivia environmental illusion, Published by Écosociété Publications (2019).


Stemming from research in ecological psychology in the 1990s, a concept connection to nature » Recently selected and published by those involved in education, biodiversity protection and well-being…not without asking some questions to environmental educators [1].

use of the term Connection » To rehabilitate the connection of humans to nature does not risk contributing to the consolidation of the dominance of a new discourse on the computer in all areas of our existence. ? When will the new app for communicate » in nature ? Outdoors, with his group, the nature educator seeks instead to Log out » Temporarily free yourself from the influence of screens, mobile phones, computers, social networks and the Internet.

Talking about being connected to nature is also, in a way, setting that nature apart. There is me on one side and nature on the other ; Between these two entities, there is a potential flow of energy. For those who believe in it We are nature » or Nature does not exist »This connection is meaningless. Rather, it nurtures the duality between nature and culture, which has shaped our Western imagination for so long.

communicate “to nature, or vice versa” Disconnect to find her ?

Remember that it is necessary Reconnect with nature “,” It is also to make the implicit note that we are all separate from it. The intent behind the expression is to make up for the imperfection, to warn against the drift, which sees our lives essentially revolve between four walls, less and less in contact with the outside. This means worrying about those children who are afraid to urinate outdoors or who no longer know that milk comes from the udders of cows.

Thus, reconnecting with nature will make it possible to cure a disease, the syndrome of nature deficiency, which suffers from many inhabitants of rich, civilized, hyperactive and highly connected countries. Rise concept connection to nature “,” Very eloquent and straightforward, he contributes effectively to ensuring that these social issues take their rightful place in the general public.

Breeding nature has a social ambition: learning to cooperate, while respecting the living. Here, a collective building site for university students in the educational park of the Marcevol Abbey, in Pyrénées-Orientales.

But, despite our caseHomo occidentalis Do we all really feel disconnected from nature ? Isn’t proposing to reconnect him a value judgment that gives us a boring case of detached people? ? Or worse, not affect this trait of audiences welcomed by the teacher, facilitator, or coach, who would be well connected to the task of separate reconnection. ? educated we and the educated turning off ? Or a recipe for reconnecting with nature ? A way to get to 60, 80 or 100 % reconnect ?

In fact, no one is completely separated from nature because everyone breathes air, drinks water, and shudders when it’s cold. As Dominique Cottereau explained, whether it is urban, mountainous or marine, and whether we like it or not, our environment participates in our ecological formation, by shaping our presence in the world.

Nature education has already been encouraged.” Listen to the heart of the tree »

Environmental education is built on the idea that a strong emotional connection between women and men with nature is a prerequisite for any significant social and environmental change.

Thus, sensory, contemplative, and contemplative approaches have always been at the heart of pedagogical practices in teaching nature. In 1979, the American Joseph Cornell published Share nature with children. Later published in French under the title Experience nature with the kidsThis book was a must-have for any nature painter.

The author has already called his readers Listen to the heart of the tree » and for Burying himself under the leaves to become one with the earth “. Practitioners of connection with nature now follow these sensitive methods, sometimes enriching them with spiritual approaches, inspired by the relationship of indigenous peoples to their environment.

By teaching nature, make individuals autonomous and sociable, caring about the fragility of the world

But being connected to nature does not necessarily mean working for a more ecological and unifying world. A far-right survivor armed to the teeth and hiding in his cave might feel totally connected to nature. Ultimately, association with nature is a means, an additional tool, and a new expression in the service of the nature educator. But the education of nature cannot be reduced to this point. It is not enough to have goals related to the individual search for health or to establish a sensitive connection with the living.

The pyramid is for anyone who desires it reconnect To Nature, produced by the Nature Kids Institute.

Connecting with nature essentially calls for an individualistic approach to well-being, a semi-introspective search for the connection between self and the universe. This stage is important, but for nature education, the collective dimension of the projects is also fundamental. It is about learning to live together outside, among humans and with non-humans. We establish a project, we participate in building adventures, we collaborate with a common goal with respect for life.

The education of nature values ​​knowledge. Observing carefully, knowing how to describe things, acquiring natural culture, understanding life cycles… These processes of acquiring knowledge must be long-term.

Bring to life a variety of styles

The idea with which many environmental educators are associated is the alternation of pedagogical styles: sensual, physical, scientific, playful, artistic, imaginative … This diversity makes it possible to touch each object with its own sensitivity. The ultimate educational goal is to enable the liberation of people, to make them resourceful, independent, the ability to think critically, the ability to live in society, and consider the fragility of our world. It is to empower humans to make choices, participate and influence our collective destiny.

Talking about being connected to nature helps gain more audience to raise awareness of the harmful effects of lack of nature. But let us not lose sight of the fact that Nature Education, with its universal approach, goes far beyond a rediscovered sense of connection to life and the elements. It carries a real project of social transformation.

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