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Field of study

Educational sciences, Outdoor education

Open to

Everyone interested about outdoor education


Nature, outdoor education, problematization

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In the debate on environmental issues and in many outdoor education practices, there is little discussion among those involved in education about what is meant by “nature”, often ignoring the fact that this concept has a long history and many meanings.

According to the philosophers Bruno Latour (2004), Isabelle Stengers (2019) and Catherine and Raphaël Larrère (2022), nature is a term that masks and invisibilises crucial issues in terms of environmental and political positioning. According to Descola (2005), we should learn to position ourselves ‘beyond nature and culture’.

A number of questions will therefore be addressed during the course: is the concept of nature politically invested by those working in the field (teachers and pupils) and, if so, from what perspective(s)? Finally, is nature perceived and understood as a ‘battlefield’ from a political point of view?

Main topics addressed

The 1st session is remote and begins synchronously (2 hours) to allow participants to meet and share their representations of the concept of nature. It then takes place asynchronously on the basis of 2 training trajectories to present some examples of resources and critical work on the concept of nature in various disciplinary fields.

The 2nd session is face-to-face (4 hours) and aims to build a collective analysis grid in order to identify their political, social and philosophical perspective on the concept of nature in their practices outside the classroom. As an option, students are encouraged to go and observe a practice outside the classroom as a group.

The module is assessed on the basis of a critical analysis of their practices and representations of the concept of nature (or those of another player in the field).

Learning outcomes

(1) Through an analysis of controversies in various disciplinary fields, to question the way in which those working in the field understand the concept of “nature” in outdoor education, in order to identify its political, social and philosophical implications.

(2) To question and reflect on one’s own practices and representations of the concept of “nature” in order to raise awareness of one’s own political, social and philosophical perspectives.

(3) Analyse and construct teaching and learning experiments in the light of various political, social and philosophical perspectives.

Language : French

Total workload : 18 h max

  • Maud DELEPIERE (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

  • Patricia NAFTALI (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

  • Elsa ROLAND (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

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Categories: Blended courses


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