“Why don’t we consider that the most advanced students can skip the CM2 or 6th grade? »


This article appears in “Le Monde de l’Éducation”. If you are subscribed to World, you can subscribe to this weekly letter by following this link.

Students enter cl in a primary school, in Lyon, September 2, 2021.

The great evening of college reform has not yet arrived. The need for a reform of the college (qualified as ” weak link “ or, more recently, “of a sick man” of the education system) is hardly contested. But the big evening has not yet come. The establishment of the single college formalized the desire to democratize and open up education to all children in a given age group, with the ambition of providing a common base of knowledge. However, its establishment has, since the beginning, been the subject of disputes, and the objectives it set for itself have never been achieved. This shared observation has led to a series of measures, which have, until now, not produced the expected results.

Also read the column (2022): Article reserved for our subscribers “College is not so much the “sick man” of our education system as its unthought”

We are pleading for its adjustment, not for its elimination, and especially not for a system which would guide students early.

Insufficient mastery of fundamental knowledge is the first difficulty that middle school teachers must face. In 2023, more than 137,000 students (16.8%) entered middle school with reading skills lower than expected at the end of CE2. For these students, the establishment of an hour of support in cl 6e is not sufficient, as the accumulated delay is so significant. In the absence of an authentic policy of individualized educational istance, of which the Homework Done system constitutes a first interesting element, these students will become discouraged and will inexorably feed the cohorts of school dropouts.

Promote the transition between CM2 and 6e

Furthermore, with the exception of a few hours left in the hands of the establishments, the insufficient organizational room for maneuver and the unique disciplinary offering, almost similar over the four years that make up the college, make a real adaptation of teaching impossible. to the structural heterogeneity of student levels. The result is an inability of our college to adapt to both the needs of the weakest students and those of the most advanced.

Concretely promoting the transition between elementary school and middle school, a key moment in the school career, is the first challenge to overcome. If the sporadic intervention of school teachers in cl 6e partly answers this, it should be part of a considerably reduced team of teachers. This would have the effect of attenuating the sudden, often destabilizing break between the transition from a single teacher in the CM2 cl to around ten teachers in the 6th year cl.e.

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