Educational Approach

The polar adventures of Nathalie initiated a strong educational motivation

For mort information about the educational approach from Jean Pierre, article in AN@E
(in French)


The educational approach chosen is the the opening of the students to the world through environmental issues and the use various communication technologies. The "tip of the iceberg" is the edition of the book.

The adventure of Nathalie, a young doctoral student in oceanography participating in a mission on a Canadian icebreaker in the Arctic Circle, has been the driving force in this literacy adventure of elementary school children from Lons, France. The step was easy to make from the "ice core" to the "teaching core". This imaginary story took shape gradually as Nathalie advanced in the polar night in search of microorganisms.

How to follow the scientist in her wonderful journey? The imagination of children, sharpened and stimulated by the first class meeting they had with Nathalie, was set in motion. It was then abundantly supplied with emails exchanges between Nathalie and the classroom.

The major concern for such a project is to link the basic requirements of the governmental academic educational program. Little by little, when constructing the stories, many topics were approached on the side in order to seek a coherence for the book. Thanks to the interactions with Nathalie, and the consultation of the site of the Amundsen icebreaker, the class became aware of the variety of content available for multidirectional investigation.

The children split in various work groups, and the use of computers and the Internet became the basic ingredient. This clearly hustled the traditional functioning of a class. The relationship between teacher and learner was transformed, and the capacity for autonomy of the children increased dramatically.

The strong motivation of the children for the project triggered by Nathalie, kept them going during the entire year. This project stimulated their efforts. What is more exciting for students to actually learn, without realizing that they are learning!