Research is inherently boring

Study "Focus on Nature Education"

Nature is uninteresting, country life boring, hunting superfluous and cutting trees badly for the forest - these prejudices about the views of the “generation selfie” urgently need to be revised. Because the new study “Focus on Nature Education” paints a completely different picture.

Children and young people feel good in nature, find it exciting to discover it on their own and are very interested in the work of farmers, foresters and hunters. However, they hardly know their tasks, and neither do they know their own ways of protecting nature. Out-of-school learning opportunities represent a great opportunity to change this.

Above all freedom (74%) and adventure (71%), but also silence (53%) and health (42%) connect young people with nature. There they are looking for fun and action as well as a balance to everyday school life (74% each). These are the central results of the study “Focus on Nature Education”. The clients were the German Hunting Association (DJV), the i.m.a - information.medien.agrar e.V. and the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald e.V. (SDW).

All results of the study "Focus on Nature Education" 2017


How does nature conservation work?

Well over half (59%) of the respondents feel threatened by the destruction of nature in Germany and 88 percent are annoyed about the careless handling of this. As a consequence, almost three quarters (72%) of the respondents feel personally responsible for nature conservation and more than half (56%) say they do something. If there is a specific demand, however, the commitment is mainly limited to separating and avoiding waste. Particularly frightening: Almost a quarter of children and young people are not at all clear what they can do to protect nature.

Schoolchildren want to explore the forest and the farm

An overwhelming majority of respondents when they go to school in the forest (77%) or on the farm (82%) want people there to show and explain their work to them. They would also find it interesting to lend a hand (71% each). They see a fixed program as a hindrance.

Clear "yes" to gentle use

The majority of young people in Germany agree to the careful use of nature. More than 80 percent of boys and girls are of the opinion that forests can be used economically “as long as no more wood is removed than grows back”. More than 60 percent also say that hunting is important "so that the game does not cause too much damage to forests and fields". And almost 80 percent are convinced of the importance of agriculture “for the care and preservation of nature and the landscape”. If the respondents were related to agriculture, forestry or hunting, the assessment of these areas was even more positive. Almost 80 percent then recognized the necessity of hunting (plus 16 percentage points). This phenomenon was less pronounced in agriculture (plus seven percentage points) and forestry (plus three percentage points). However, the study also shows that it is often not known what the sustainable use of natural resources looks like in concrete terms. The tasks of farmers, foresters and hunters are largely unknown.

Opportunities for educational work

The DJV, the ima and the SDW see great potential for the existing extracurricular learning opportunities in this context: The feelings the children and young people describe as predominantly positive towards nature as a whole and agriculture and the forest in particular can lead to the acquisition of skills for sustainability Action can be used. Extracurricular learning opportunities can make an important contribution to teaching environmentally conscious behavior and the protection of natural resources and offer specific “tools” for this purpose. Overall, less rigid structures are required for the transfer of knowledge and experience in order to be able to respond more flexibly to the interests and needs of young people.

For the study “Focus on Nature Education”, the ECOLOG Institute for Social-Ecological Research and Education evaluated responses from more than 1,000 boys and girls between the ages of twelve and 15 years. The survey was divided into two qualitative and one quantitative partial studies, the data of which were collected from spring to winter 2016. The qualitative part was carried out by IfA market research Bremer + Partner. The clients were the German Hunting Association (DJV), the i.m.a - information.medien.agrar e.V. and the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald e.V. (SDW). The study was funded by the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank and the Forest Enterprise Foundation.

Demands from the study

Find out about the short and medium-term goals here. Learn more

Short and long version of the study

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