JM Blanquer relaunches Science and Technology Plan

In the midst of the high school science and math turmoil, J. M. Blanker announced on February 2 during the La main à la pâte awards ceremony, a science and technology plan for elementary schools. The intention is to strengthen the teaching of science in schools and to show that after plans for French and mathematics, the minister does not forget about science. It is also necessary not to make mistakes in the training process. And you can’t win there…

Plan based on experience and partners

“Science starts in elementary school! With explicit learning and experimentation.” On Twitter, J. M. Blanker announces the S&T Strategic Committee meeting on March 15th. According to the Ministry of National Education, this plan concerns school teachers and will be rolled out at the beginning of the 2022 school year.

“The involvement of all students in the scientific approach, the development of their methodical thinking, the acquisition of knowledge and fundamental skills in the field of science and technology from the first years of education are necessary conditions for the preparation of future enlightened citizens. science is built and the differences between proven facts and beliefs, but also the emergence of future scientific and technological vocations that will support this sovereignty”, writes the ministry. “This plan, rolled out jointly with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, will benefit from increased mobilization of many partners already involved in various schemes, including the Science with Society and for Society strategy – institutes, universities and colleges, scientific societies, but also industrial players who will be able to bring their experience in the field to contribute to the training of teachers, as well as to support them in their scientific and technological projects and technologies, as well as in the discovery of professions by students. and people who are engaged in science make a significant contribution to the motivation and achievement of the goals set for this education.

LaMap training failure

By his side The hand in the test is already positioning itself for these trainings, recalling that his networks “offer a selection of resources, tutorials and training for elementary school teachers and their instructors. And a special feature of LaMap learning is the involvement of teachers in the research process within the Houses of Science, established in 2012 with the support of the National Education, La Map increased the training of teachers. Each house brings together universities, administration and local companies. research method and conducted with scientists. A model that seems to be in line with what the minister wants.

Unfortunately first evaluation of these training courses in 2017conducted by Mark Gurgand (PSE) shows no results. Based on observations of classroom practice and nearly 2,500 elementary school students, the study shows a significant improvement in the knowledge of students whose teacher took a LaMap course compared to a control group. But the internship does not affect the motivation or skills of students in any way. Among teachers, we do not observe more manipulation among those who completed the course than in the control group. What has changed is the increase in science hours among these primary teachers. In other words, the internship certainly made teachers want to do more science, but without changing their practice. It is this increase in the graph that would lead to better knowledge. It will not have any serious impact on teaching practice. For Mark Gurgand, it is the call to scientists provided by the partners that explains this failure.

What Pisa Says About Science Education

This is similar to another assessment in science education. Pisa 2015. “PISA results show that when teachers frequently explain and demonstrate scientific concepts and discuss student questions (a teaching method commonly referred to as teacher-led learning), students achieve better science performance, exhibit stronger belief in the virtues of scientific research (or epistemic beliefs). ) and are more likely to consider entering the science profession as adults,” writes the OECD. “Surprisingly, there is no education system in which students who report being subjected to frequent exploratory learning (which requires them to conduct experiments or practice work) score higher in the sciences. After taking into account the socioeconomic status of students and schools, greater use of inquiry-based learning correlates with lower student achievement in science in 56 countries and savings.”

Will the National Education be able to take into account this research and resist the fashion that has been in place for more than 10 years to bring the sciences into a single channel, encourage the process of research and call on external partners? It looks like the “science and technology” plan will continue on this path. If it is not just a practical media tool in this period.

François Jarraud

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