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Who we are?

The Cerfa team consists of professors (Université du Québec à Montréal), graduate students, artists and member of the community.

The various research projects carried out at CERFA aim to support the schooling of pupils with a developmental disability by accompanying their teachers to teaching constructed from various interactional and humanistic pedagogies. Three axes are developed from the same epistemological foundations.

Céline Chatenoud Jean Hovais Delphine Odier-Guedj



To date, our research projects have three aspects, but share a common epistemology:




  • To accommodate the child in an inclusive approach
  • Fostering interaction and ensuring students' right to speak;
  • To consider the well-being of students, their families and caregivers as essential;
  • To promote an inclusive approach
  • To consider teaching as an activity


1) a perspective on the student as a speaking subject and a learner. Danon-Boileau (2011) recalls that speech is a particular human function, fundamentally entangled in the psychic life and the ceaseless exchanges that each can have with oneself and with others. The word which may be automatic is then a gush without mediation. It can also be voluntary. The thought then pre-existed to its expression and gave body to the ideas according to expressions that the speaker can arrange or paraphrase to his liking. There can be no relations without speech. As such, the student, even with few words and variable sentence structures, is for us a subject able to say by himself, to express himself and to engage in learning. Several pedagogical devices help to support interaction and learn to interact through organized frameworks (such as the Quoi de Neuf) or through various mediations such as youth literature.

2) the school is a place of development and culture. The student becomes subject to knowledge participates in the cultural and social life of his entourage, like the other students. Schooling in an ordinary environment "is comparable to a rite of passage: it is the space where the child is built and autonomous by knowledge; Where he lives and finds his way through the others; Where it ties the physical, psychic and social relationships that connect it to its environment. "(Gardou, 2005 p, 5). We are talking here about the elaboration of identity and the school can not propose a learning device that hinders the emergence of the subject. Everyone has a privileged place. Classroom activities make common culture and build knowledge networks to share.

3) Education as an activity. "The ergonomics  allows us to think of the teaching by distinguishing what is of the order of the action which is an achievement in a given context with a specific goal (to make find words to the students in connection with the semantics of the witch to read them and to learn to spell them for example) and the activity linked to a singular perspective putting the professional between his actions and the environments in which they are inscribed (Amigues, 2003, Clot, 2009 (Odier-Guedj, 2013) The activity of the teacher "can be considered as the meeting place of several stories (of the institution, the profession, the individual, the institution, ...). The actor will establish relations with the prescriptions, with the task to be performed, with the others (his colleagues, the administration, the pupils, ...), with the values ​​and with himself "(Amigues, 2003: 9)




In projects, teachers are led to construct multiple knowledge but at the very moment when questions arise. Through a reflexive analysis of what they do, what they are, what they would like to do, what they have already done (practical analogies), how they relate students or they would like to weave, they build new knowledge on:

  • interaction strategies;
  • possible translations of students' difficulties in educational needs and pedagogical adaptations of the youth literature album as mediation to foster interaction;
  • an analysis of the relevance of the changes introduced with regard to the objectives pursued,
  • and the use of multiple supports to promote learning. We use videocopy most of the time.

4) The place of the body in teaching and learning. Learning and teaching are becoming a reality. Interactional approaches involve tracking the interests of the child and the bodily path of link displacements by touch, but also being receptive to the emotional modalities carried by the body to grasp meaningful areas in order to create, to learn together. The passage through experience is at the center of these approaches in order not only to solicit the memory of the body, to trace a common history and to feel the different clues that make it possible to access the meaning. This intermodality, beyond being a mediation to learn, constitutes in itself learning. The teacher is called upon to mobilize his body and to be receptive to any early signs of the body of children that can be seized to interact with his body and the verbal_ paraverbal language.