Fear of forest: impact of an environmental education program on decrease of pupils’ fear of staying in forest environment


  • Jan Činčera




Fear of forest, programme evaluation


The article presents results of an analysis of the program “Forest at school – school in the forest”, for 6th grades’ pupils. The aim of this work was to investigate the sources of fear of forest and the effectiveness of the program in its effort to deal with it. The evaluation applied a simple pretest/posttest design (N=70). On the basis of its results we can presume that pupils visit forests quite rarely; boys more often than girls. Generally, children are not scared of a forest; girls are more scared than boys. Children mainly fear natural threats (e.g. wild animals); and social risks, e.g. threat from bad people or human-caused accidents. The program probably did not have much effect on boys but probably influenced girls where the level of fear in all the areas of sources of forest fear (natural threats, social threats and uneasy situations) decreased.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Jan Činčera

PhDr. Jan Činčera, Ph.D.

Autor vyučuje environmentální výchovu a prožitkovou pedagogiku na Technické univerzitě v Liberci. Jako evaluátor programů dále spolupracuje se středisky ekologické výchovy a organizacemi zabývajícími se globálním rozvojovým vzděláváním.

profesní zaměření: environmentální výchova, vzdělávání pro udržitelný rozvoj, výchova o Zemi, evaluace programů, pedagogika volného času, informační věda


AJZEN, I. 1991. The Theory of Planned Behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process. vol. 50, s. 179-211. ISSN 0749-5978.

ANDREWS, M., GATERSLEBEN, B. 2010. Variations in perceptions of danger, fear and preference in a simulated natural environment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, p. 473-481.

BERG, van den A.E., HEIJNE, ter M. 2005. Fear versus Fascination: An exploration of emotional responses to natural threats. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25, p. 261-272.

BANDURA, A. 1977. Self-efficacy: Tpward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological Review, vol. 84, n. 2, p. 191-215.

BӦGEHOLZ, S. 2006. Nature experience and its importace for environmental knowledge, values and action: recent German empirical contribution. Environmental education research, Vol. 12, no. 1, p. 65-84.

ČINČERA, J. 2011. Les ve škole, škola v lese. Evaluační zpráva. Interní dokument. Praha: Sdružení TEREZA.

Činčera, J. (2012). Děti a les: analýza mentálních map žáků čtvrtých tříd. Envigogika, 7(1). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.14712/18023061.67

DANIŠOVÁ, J. 2011. Návrh ročního plánu – 6. tř. ZŠ Program Les ve škole – škola v lese. Pracovní verze. Praha: Sdružení TEREZA, 2011. Interní dokument.

EMMONS, K. M. 2011. Perceptions of the Environment while Exploring the Outdoors: a case study in Belize. Environmental Education Research, Vol. 3, no. 3, p. 327-344.

HENDL, J. 2009. Přehled statistických metod. Praha: Portál.

HERZOG, T.R., CHERNICK, K.K. 2000. Tranquility and danger in urban and natural settings. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20, 29, p. 29-39.

HERZOG, T.R., KROPSCOTT, L.S. Legibility, Mystery and Visual Access as Predictors of Preference and Perceived Danger in Forest Settings without Pathways. 2004. Environment and Behavior, 36, no 4, p. 659-677.

HERZOG, T.R., KUTZLI, G.E. 2002. Preference and Perceived Danger in Field/Forest Settings. Environment and Behavior. 34, no 6, 819-835.

CHAWLA, L. 1999. Life Paths Into Effective Environmental Education. The Journal of Environmental Education.Vol. 31, no. 1, s. 15-26. ISSN 0095-8964.

CHAWLA, L.; CUSHING, D.F. 2007. Education for strategic environmental behavior. Environmental Education Research. Vol. 13, no. 4, s. 437-452.

CHENG, J.C-H., MONROE, M.C. 2012. Connection to Nature: Children’s Affective Attitute Toward Nature. Environment and Behavior, 44, p. 31-49.

KALS, E., SCHUMACHER, D., MONTADA, L. 1999. Emotional Affinity toward Nature as a Motivational Basis to Protect Nature. Environment and Behavior, 31, no 2, 178-202.

LOUV, R. 2008. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books.

RICKINSON, M. 2001. Learners and Learning in Environmental Education: a critical review of the evidence. Environmental Education Research, Vol. 7, p. 207-320.

SKåR, M. 2010. Forest dear and forest fear: Dwellers’ relationships to their neighbourhood forest. Landscape and urban planning. 98, p. 110-116.

Stella, M., & Stibral, K. (2009). „Krajina a evoluce“? Evolučně-psychologické teorie percepce krajiny. Envigogika, 4(2). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.14712/18023061.41


30. 09. 2012

How to Cite

Činčera, J. (2012). Fear of forest: impact of an environmental education program on decrease of pupils’ fear of staying in forest environment. Envigogika, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.14712/18023061.74



Reviewed Papers

Most read articles by the same author(s)

<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>