Back to “education continuity”

What assessment can we make of “education continuity”? Since the ministry seems to have learned nothing from this unprecedented experience, it is the investigation that is questioning it. Julien Netter shows in Research in Education (n°48) that this has led to an increase in educational inequality. Patrick Rayou is more positive about the relationships between the actors: teachers, students, parents. It also draws conclusions for the teaching profession.

Rewriting characters

We are not done with “education continuity”. As the epidemic looks set to start again, Pap Ndiaye announced on June 14 that institutions should review their education continuity plan at the start of the school year. In particular, the magazine Recherches en éducation publishes an issue (48) devoted to it under the direction of Hélène Buisson-Fenet and Lisa Marx. It outlines a contrasting assessment of a period that remains a trauma for the school.

Julien Netter is based on a study conducted before, during and after the incarceration in a primary school in 93. He shows how the transition to distancial changes the systems of mobilized signs. “During the transition to the remote classroom, the boards accompanying the exchanges between teachers and students largely change. With the transfer of work or activities by email, mobilized, at least at the beginning of the confinement, by 20 of the 21 teachers who have answered the questionnaire, writing takes on an even greater role. Exchange takes place in writing, instructions are written down. Teachers therefore mobilize various tools to distinguish themselves from this radical transition to writing. Audio capsules (8/21 respondents) or video (18/21 respondents) sometimes seem absorbed, through the use of the spoken word and the image they allow, to distinguish themselves from the written word, but it is an oral form without feedback, where the effects of the discourse must be anticipated as much as possible and which therefore also falls within largely literate forms,” ​​he explains.

Reinforcing educational inequalities

The distance also raises the question of the autonomy of the pupils and their parents with regard to schoolwork and the issue of supervision. “With the remote classroom, direct help becomes difficult. When the work is sent by email or left in the form of files at collection points, it is absent. With telephone transfer it can be a short time at the start of the activity, but before a limited number of students… Thus, students generally depended on their ability to interpret the assigned activity themselves and on the forms of immediate help they could find For the students furthest from school expectations ​often with a working-class background in France (OECD, 2019), the help of parents with little education themselves (Dubet, Duru-Bellat & Vérétout, 2010) risked being ill-adjusted more than for the others”.

Finally, “The most vulnerable students at the beginning of incarceration are those whose interpretations are furthest from what is expected to succeed in school activities. They are therefore the ones who are least autonomous in the face of activities, c that is say, for example, for whom indirect help quickly proves to be insufficient and who therefore need direct help the most, including when faced with tasks that others consider “revisions” but which are likely to be learning for them that has not been consolidated , or their parents are more often not well qualified so the help they can offer them when their situation allows it is ill-adapted to academic requirements Statistically they have lower incomes so their equipment and connection are more insecure , and their parents are confronted with material difficulties that concern them more”.

Awareness of the boundaries of the School

Patrick Rayou sheds a more positive light on a study conducted at a priority education college. It underlines the inequalities of family equipment and also the inequality of family resources for working from home. “This period of extreme tension is an opportunity for teachers to become aware of pre-existing realities they have lived with, but which suddenly appear as brakes on action…. These brutal observations, quickly shared, often lead to immediate adjustments or projects in the longer term.

But for him, consciousness is broader. It is that of the limits of the “normal” education system. “The double deviation which, on the one hand, constitutes the transport of the heart of learning from the classroom to the home, and on the other hand, the decoupling of the teaching time from that of learning, has above all the evidence of ordinary deviation and doubts the relevance of the usual organization of relations between the classroom and the outside of the classroom. daily difficulties in supporting work outside the classroom”.

New co-education

Another important return is forging new bonds between teachers and families. No longer “having the discipline to do” calms down and opens up to the particularities of the students, especially “more intimate” relationships possible according to Ms. Courtepointe, who exchanges “little kindnesses” with her sixth-graders in particular. ) believes to have “gained the trust” of students who saw the teachers as a hindrance “and now they have noticed, some of them, that we were really a help in the end”. possibly some “started to ask us a little more pose than usual, show some more initiative, etc., the results were better.”

For him, the episode of incarceration has made it possible to break down age-old barriers between the different actors in the school and he goes so far as to speak of co-education. “The weakening of the distances between the public and private faces of the actors represents, in our view, the third upheaval in this episode of “educational continuity.” The research shows that this third misalignment has enabled teachers and parents to around the interests of children, thus questioning the respective reserve duty of these two groups of adult actors whose usefulness, in these times of crisis, but probably also afterwards, no longer came on its own… The presence of professional knowledge, the emergence of a self-organizing group can appear as two essential elements on the road to professionalization”.

The remaining contributions to this issue will be read with interest. Because we are not done with the risk of epidemics yet. Because there is an immediate need to compensate for the shortcomings caused by this episode, both in terms of school level and social skills. But also because this period was very rich in education and showed the system’s capacity for resilience when the hierarchy is prevented…

Francois Jarraud

The number

The issue of the magazine AFAE

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