“We are working to live together,” sums up Ghislaine David, general secretary and representative of the Snuipp-FSU teacher union. “The advantage of elementary school is that there is a class life that allows you to set rules, which are also the rules of society. To this is added work on values, but not necessarily in terms of theoretical contribution. “For example, solidarity is about living, not learning,” David Ghislaine notes. “Teachers can create a project with a nursing home next door to work on intergenerational solidarity.”
As for debates, they take place at school, and this is from an early age, assures this former CM1-CM2 teacher. “When I was teaching in Brittany, where the Catholic religion is very important, I regularly held debates about religion in the classroom. Even at the age of 10, you may be thinking about questions such as “does the other have the right not to believe.” Philosophical debates at school are possible from kindergarten.”
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Poorly equipped teachers
It remains for this to be trained, and to have the means. “We are not trained in EMC,” sums up Ghislain David, who denounces the crushing pressure exerted on math and French by the Ministry of National Education. “Our additional education is devoted only to these two subjects: mathematics at 9 am, French at 9 am,” the trade unionist regrets, although this subject has not yet been included in primary education. A disadvantage reinforced by the regular obligation to call on contract soldiers “who don’t have the same level of training,” says Laurent Zameckowski, vice president of Peep, who still depends (too much) on the teacher, his motivation. , his abilities, especially digital ones. For example, there are no rules or obligations regarding external projects.
Not to mention the busy schedules. “Parents sometimes fear that the UMK is encroaching on history-geo,” this dad notes, “but there is a specific program that needs to be followed. After all, everything will depend on how the teacher prioritizes and builds his educational path. At the risk of facing pressure on the “fundamentals” to see EMC fade into the background. “Time is very short, especially with the pandemic and high levels of absenteeism, which means we are not making progress on programs,” confirms Ghislaine David. What can be a disaster for a student, he will miss something.
The conclusion shared by the Accounts Chamber in its November 2021 report: “If the school remains today the crucible of this learning (EMC editor’s note), its low spot on the schedule, the concentration of supervisors and inspectors on other issues, and the lack of initial teacher training on these issues do not allow this system to unfold to its full potential.
Fundamental civic education
For teachers, however, CME is essential. “EMC is as fundamental as math and French, Slice Ghislain David. The school exists to teach and liberate children.” Otherwise, there is a risk of increasing inequality between children whose critical thinking develops through the family environment (exhibition, discussions at home, etc.) and others. “EMC must adapt to today’s life, especially digital. It’s about living together, socializing, fighting harassment… it’s all important. You can focus on the basics, but if there is no climate school, nothing will work. passage,” sums up Laurent Zamechkowski.
As for the parents, if there are occasional misunderstandings, they seem to be quite supportive of the EMC, their representatives say. “Parents are very proud when their children get into municipal children’s councils,” said Nageate Belahsen, co-chair of the FCPE. “When it’s good with parents, especially in the context of larger projects, school or class, it’s because it’s well explained,” this mother observes, where certain EMC-related sanctions, on the other hand, are hard to pass. “What parents do not understand is when there are sanctions, for example, when a child does not sing the Marseillaise when students study there. There were such cases during the terrorist attacks, but children do not do this in conscience, they do it with facial expressions so that they are noticed.
An integral part of CME, but without specific schedules or assessments, Media and Information Literacy (MIL) also receives special attention. Bronner’s report on online misinformation highlights the importance of the school and EMI in this fight against fake news. However, according to this report, EMI is “rarely formalized, agreed and evaluated. It suffers from a lack of funding from all participants in the educational chain.” Even though the ministry is working on developing guidelines for teaching EMR in elementary schools, the Bronner Commission recommends “a systematized teaching of critical thinking and EMR, on the one hand, for elementary school students, but also for elementary and secondary school teachers.” service training” (recommendation 27).
New master plan for teacher education
Thus, “we still have some way to go,” National Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer acknowledged during a Feb. 9 hearing before a Senate committee. “The topic is not so much that there are not enough hours or that the program is inadequate,” the minister assessed, but that there is still too much distance between theory and practice.” So, barring an increase in EMC hours – French schoolchildren already have some of the longest days in Europe – the minister indicated that he’s taken to teacher training directly, going so far as to turn his famous triptych, the mantra of his reforms, into a quadriptych: read, write, count… and respect others.
Thus, the 36-hour training module is now integrated into the Master’s “profession of teaching, education and training”, emphasized Jean-Michel Blanquer, who also welcomed the new preparatory course, which allows one to prepare for a specific career as a school teacher from the first year. licenses. This includes lessons in secularism and the values of the Republic as well as other major disciplines. From 2022, teacher candidates will also have to pass a new oral interview test, in which they will have to demonstrate their ability to appropriate the values of the Republic. Finally, the minister announced a new training plan for all teachers with 1,000 instructors. This already launched plan will train 250,000 teachers on secularism and the values of the Republic annually, up to 9 hours per person.