Curriculum reform: the wrong signals from the government – UNSA-Education

The Common Core, strengthened, emphasizes French and mathematics

The common base should be structured around 4 main axes:

  • Basic knowledge and skills in French
  • Fundamental knowledge and skills in mathematics
  • Psychosocial skills (“worked in all disciplines”).
  • Knowledge of general culture, literature, artistic, scientific and technical.

Psychosocial skills appear to be ‘indispensable’, and we can be happy about that. But without a precise framework, neither specific resources nor dedicated time, everyone will be able to get a handle on it… or not… and that is the risk. Working on cognitive, emotional or social skills does not happen empirically. Training, scientific and bibliographical support are necessary. In her referral letter, the minister only cites the French Public Health Framework, which is austere and poorly suited for educational sessions. So everything has to be created.

For the rest, French and mathematics appear, not surprisingly, as the alpha and omega of academic success: it is up to the other disciplines “to accurately identify (…) their contribution to the mobilization of these fundamental skills” . We also note that the history of the arts will make a comeback and that the common general culture, built on the basis of important standards, should “enable every student to be an actor in his or her life and a citizen who is involved in the service of the world. general interest”. It all smells warmed over.

Conservative choices

Mark of the conservative camp, ‘from memory’, is once again appreciated. However, its benefits are still not scientifically proven. The “main cultural attractions” are also making a comeback. Experience, which has already been tried, shows that, without any meaning, they are just an annoying list for students to learn, without resonance in their daily lives.

Modern languages ​​also return to the 20th century: education must develop civilization and grammar. A backward-looking approach, while in most European countries communication situations are preferred.

Conversely, the essential issues of our contemporary societies are only the subject of simple innuendo. The wording of climate, which has a strong impact on schools, or AI, which weakens democracy, is poor. It only says that all lessons must “explicitly contribute to the acquisition by students of specific knowledge and skills in the field of education for sustainable development and ecological transition”, nothing more. Similarly, artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly referred to, encouraging the creation of an “AI culture” but without clear guidelines.

Unsuitable inspiration

The reform aims to draw inspiration from the Singaporean model of ‘manipulate, represent, abstract’ in mathematics. This model, which the government seems to be setting up as a silver bullet solution, is ambitious and can be applied in circumstances very different from ours. In his article The Singapore method: the tip of the Singaporean iceberg, Jean-Michel Jamet recalls that there are more teachers in the city-state and they have to deal with fewer students. They benefit from intensive further training throughout their career. Likewise, social classes are generally homogeneous in Singaporean society. This model does not seem to apply to France unless significant resources are invested in it.

UNSA Education is concerned about the choices the government makes and develops. Future programs will be conservative in content and form. He does not give himself the means to realize his ambitions. He dreams of a sepia school, far away from the challenges of the future and the reality of students in our country. A copy to review. Quick.

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