College reform: technology will bear the brunt of the “new sixth”

Posted January 12, 2023, 7:54 amUpdated on January 12, 2023 at 8:32

Pap Ndiaye had committed to it during his announcements on the reform of the college: sixth grade students will have one hour a week for support or deepening in French or mathematics. This hour will be compulsory for everyone, ministerial circulars published on Thursday show. It will focus on skills that are considered essential – being comfortable reading or mastering fractions and decimals, for example. Almost a third of sixth form students have weaknesses in French or mathematics.

Students from the same institution will be in different “interclass” groups, more or less numerous, according to their needs. The ministry does not want the support hour to be used to extend a course that has not been completed, just as students are stigmatized between those who need support and those who do not. For example, a student may focus on reading in the first semester, work with fractions in the second semester, and develop another skill in the third semester.

“Removal” of technology

This weekly class will take place at fixed times for the students, i.e. 26 hours a week, with support – among other things – from school teachers, who have experienced at the academy in Amiens. It is the teaching of technology that will bear the brunt of this “new sixth”. “Science and technology education will be reconfigured,” explains a senior official in the Ministry of National Education, talking about the “removal in quotation marks” of sixth-form courses and the “reinforcement of technology” from fifth, with teacher training at the centre. .

Meanwhile, from next September, technology teachers will intervene “a little less in sixth grade technology, but they will be able to prepare for the reinforcement [de cette matière] “From the fifth to September 2024, it is estimated at the Ministry -” This will provide a year for the training of these teachers.

Nevertheless, the Ministry states that they have passed the engineer’s science and technology coats and that as such they are “qualified to intervene in the rest of the science teaching and also in the sessions of elaboration and remediation” laid down in the new sixth.

“Economic Needs of the Nation”

At National Education, the development is also justified with the fact that “the identity of the technological subject is not always well understood, although it should be a subject of vocation, of the birth of an appetite or taste, especially for digital and IT”.

The idea is to ensure that more students choose the specialty “Digital and computer science” in upper secondary school, decide to start with a first “STI2D” (Technological matriculation exam) or that some from the 3rd year move more towards vocational training in information . systems. “These vocations could probably have been born by crossing the professor of technology”, slips a senior official.

“The reality of technology is essential in relation to the economic needs of the nation, confirmed last week Jean-Charles Ringard, co-pilot of the monitoring committee for the reform of the secondary school, within the framework of the postbac fair organized by the agency specialized AEF. We can do not launch a re-industrialization plan without considering this path, companies need middle managers, we must give full reality to the technological path. »

“Hypertrophy” from the STMG series

However, the technological path in high school is today a victim of the “hypertrophy” of the STMG series (Sciences and technologies of management and management), which welcomed 10,000 more students between 2018 and 2022. A series that is too often perceived as ” a path of relegation from the general path in the minds of second-year teachers”, according to Jean-Charles Ringard.

The Supervisory Committee’s co-pilot pleads for “a rebalancing within the technological path”, towards the production series STI2D (industry and sustainable development), STL (laboratories) or even ST2S (social sciences) in relation to higher education and employment needs. It evokes a “cultural” problem which presupposes action based on the orientation and representations of the technological path.

“The Education Card should still allow this development!” explains a senior official in the ministry. And what are we to do with teachers who practice in STMG? Ask them to convert? »

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