Fall / automne 2020

Appréhender le monde selon la théologie naturelle : l’enseignement des sciences au pensionnat des Ursulines de Québec (1830–1910)

Mélanie Lafrance
Université Laval
Published November 7, 2020
How to Cite
Lafrance, Mélanie. 2020. “Appréhender Le Monde Selon La théologie Naturelle : L’enseignement Des Sciences Au Pensionnat Des Ursulines De Québec (1830–1910)”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 32 (2). https://doi.org/10.32316/hse-rhe.v32i2.4799.


In the 1830s, the Ursulines Nuns of Quebec City were working to re-establish the prosperity of their young ladies’ academy. They upgraded their teaching with new subjects such as astronomy, chemistry, physics and natural history. These science lessons continued until the 20th century. Why did the Ursulines Nuns choose to teach sciences to young ladies that were intended to become good wife and devoted mother? This study suggests that the teaching sisters were motivated by four purposes: attract boarders, reveal God’s creation, develop practical sense and, finally, instruct. These goals seem consistent with the model of girls’ education promoted at that time, except for the importance given to the instruction of the young ladies.