Education: Emmanuel Macron launches “normal schools of the 21st century”

During a visit to a Parisian school this Friday, the President of the Republic announced that future teachers will be employed after completing their license, and therefore the competition from bac+5 has been reduced to bac+3.

“Didn't I forget a single structural thing, Madam Minister?” asked President Macron Nicole Belloubet, after he had just presented, in three minutes, the in-depth reform of teacher training and the arrival of the famous “normal 21st century”. schools”. “No, I think you said the important thing,” replies the minister of education, demoted, like her predecessors, to the role of an extra.

This April 5, Emmanuel Macron went to the Blanche school, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, to talk about an inclusive school – the institution in question opened a teaching unit for autism in September – but above all about teacher training.

Now it has become a rule. Every three months, the head of state talks about education, his “reserved domain”. At the end of August, at a high school in Orange, he already spoke on the subject of training, saying that he wanted to “reinvent our good old normal schools.” In January, during his press conference mainly devoted to the school, he returned to the topic, describing this model as “not so bad”.

We clearly see that the system adopted in recent decades was undoubtedly not the best ยป

Emmanuel Macron, April 5, 2024

Far from being limited to the nostalgic string of schools of yesteryear, his project actually plans to update the normal schools of the 3rd Republic, where future teachers were trained by experienced masters, as part of the alternating course theory and practical practice.

Above all, he plans to place, as in the past, teacher training under the control of National Education. Since the 1989 law establishing the IUFMs (university teacher training institutes), teacher training has been the responsibility of universities, which is often far removed from the reality of schools and students' needs.

“We can clearly see that the system adopted in recent decades was undoubtedly not the best,” explained Emmanuel Macron on April 5, referring to “many students who, sometimes for several years, have abandoned the basic knowledge” and who then find it difficult to “transmit” them. .

Preparation for a profession immediately after graduation

In the current system, a future teacher can complete a bachelor's degree in any discipline, before enrolling in a master's degree, where he will learn to teach all disciplines in two years. Including math, which most people haven't heard of since high school.

The executive power is therefore planning to implement “preparation for school teaching” (LPPE) licenses from the beginning of the 2024 school year. This preparation for the profession would therefore begin immediately after graduation. The training would focus on academics, from French to maths, science and physical education. Among the trainers, field teachers of primary schools would be represented to a large extent.

At the end of this license, students will take a competitive exam, which will therefore drop from bac +5 to bac +3. They will then enroll in a “professional master's degree that will actually be our normal schools of the 21st century,” the president explained.

The reform, which is implemented from the beginning of the 2024 school year

At the same time, students who chose disciplinary studies – “history, psychology”, he explains with an example – will be able to take a competitive exam and enroll in normal schools. However, the new preparatory license for school teaching (LPPE) “will enter into wider application next year” and will be “compiled in the next two to three years”, he specifies. Ultimately, it should represent 80% of the competition's workforce.

It is therefore about the structural reform that the head of state announced on April 5. It will be implemented gradually from the beginning of the school year 2024. There are less than six months left for the development of new courses. A busy schedule that could harm the change promised on paper. Especially since unions and universities do not look favorably on the takeover of teacher education by National Education.

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