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Programs, laptop, secularism: after the school year, Mr. Blanquer continues his announcements

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – Richard BOUHET – | The Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer visits a school in Saint-Denis de la Reunion, 18 August 2017

Mastering the four calculation operations at CE1, returning to a more chronological approach in literature, banning the laptop at the college, secular cell: Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer continues his often polemical announcement, while ensuring not want to “undo”.

The division at CE1

Jean-Michel Blanquer pronounced himself in the Express for the control of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) from the CP-CE1. Currently, the division starts at CE2. “When learning can be done as soon as possible, it is better for students,” he said. But is not it too difficult for children of this age? “I protest against this false benevolence which consists of delaying without delay the learning,” he replies.

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – XAVIER LEOTY – | Jean-Michel Blanquer decided to master the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) as of CP-CE1

Michel Lussault, president of the Conseil Supérieur des Programs, was surprised on Thursday by RTL: “We have not been warned.” According to him, the division is “a very complex operation, which presupposes a perfect mastery of enumeration, the principle of other operations”. “Sometimes, to want to go too fast, is to ensure future failures. Starting division in CE2, it does not seem detrimental to me,” he said.

Back to chronology in history and literature

“In history, as in all other disciplines, we must have an explicit, structured and progressive pedagogy,” says Jean-Michel Blanquer. “The way in which we approach our literary heritage today in college, by great conceptual ideas rather than by specific currents and epochs, must be rethought.” He wished to return to a “more chronological approach”, even if it was not a matter of cleansing the past or of upsetting everything.

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – FREDERICK FLORIN – | The reform of the college implemented by Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has abandoned the chronological dimension of the French programs

The reform of the college implemented in the autumn of 2016, under the previous government, has abandoned the chronological dimension of the French programs which up to now have been superimposed on the chronological progression of the history program. Although Marie-Aimée Biosca, a professor of literature in Rennes, regrets the constant changes in approach, she nevertheless notes that “students generally find it difficult to situate authors in time, and entry by themes does not facilitate things “.

Prohibiting cell phones at college

The minister wants to ban it from 2018. He mentions the possibility of “lockers that close”. “In Cabinet, we put our laptops in lockers” and “it seems to me that this is feasible for any human group, including a class,” he adds in the Express.

“This is a central issue for education,” said Philippe Tournier, secretary general of the principal union of heads of establishments, the SNPDEN, adding however that there is indeed a “problem” with the mobile phones. “But how do we do it?” He wonders, like other actors in the educational world.

The internal regulations of the establishments prohibit the use of mobile phones in the classroom. But not within the precincts of a college because it amounts to an attack on public freedoms. It would therefore require a modification of the law, indicates the SNPDEN.

Then there are material questions: one per student? There are hundreds of traps in the big colleges, which raises the issue of funding.

Or a locker per class? Probably the most feasible but it will take 10 minutes of course for deposit and restitution. And who is responsible for these objects?

“The solution can not be a wicker basket with the student’s name on a post-it stuck to the laptop. Students are not ministers,” sighs Mr. Tournier. Again, “imagined solutions are by people who have never seen a college class.”

A secular cell in the ministry

Mr Blanquer “envisages” the creation of a secular cell within his ministry. Composed of “jurists, disciplinary experts”, this cell would help “educational communities find the best solutions” for the respect of the values ​​of the Republic. With “an identical answer throughout the territory”.

“There is already a secular referent in each academy and a missionary in the ministry,” recalls a close friend of the file, who assumes that “Mr. Blanquer wants to reinforce the existing” in order to “reinforce the reactivity of the mechanism.

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