DOCUMENTOS / ORGANIZACIONES (ESF EDUCATION NETWORK INFORMATION FORM BERLIN)

The attack on state community comprehensive education in England.

The current situation:

  • There is already a large fee paying private sector of Independent schools which provides for around 8% of all children at schools ranging from the very wealthy (Eton, Harrow, Roedean) to the very awful – some of the private religious schools and cheaper independent ones.
  • In addition there are over 200 privately run Academy schools.
  • Around 30% of all English schools are ‘voluntary aided’ religious schools where the employer is the Diocese or religious group running the school.
  1. Privatisation.

The government is pressing ahead with privatisation through a series of initiatives:

a)     More Academies: Both main parties plan to increase the numbers of Academies and to reduce the restrictions on who can sponsor, how it is organised, charges to sponsors etc.

b)     More ‘Trust’ schools. This is where the running of the school and the ownership of the land and buildings passes to a private sponsor but the school remains a ‘maintained’ school ie it is still part of the local family of schools. In particular the Co-operative Society is being encouraged to set up a national chain of Cooperative Trusts comprising up to 400 schools.

c)      More Foundation schools – where the governors are the employer rather than the local authority.

d)     More Faith schools, where religious organisations become the employer and determine the admissions policy etc.

  1. Teachers Conditions of Service and Professional Status.

The government is also continuing with its drive to restructure the teaching profession, in particular through the ‘Children’s Workforce Strategy’. This is intended to blur boundaries between qualified teachers and others working in schools. As part of this, a new status, ‘Early Years professional’ has been created which in due course may be used to undermine the role of teachers in Nursery Education and early years. This process of substitution of other staff for qualified teachers in classrooms was a key facet of the government’s ‘Workforce reform’ programme.

Similarly, the government is still promoting the idea of large teaching groups – up to 90 – with one teacher and a number of non-teaching support staff. This is being modelled at the RSA Academy at Tipton which is itself a marketing tool for the RSA’s ‘Opening Minds’ curriculum materials. All schools constructed under the Building Schools for the Future programme must include facilities for large group teaching as one of the requirements for approval.

There are also trial projects in Early Years and in Academies to increase the length of the working day and the working year. In Early years, the government has made a guarantee to parents of an 2 ½ extra hours of education per week, but failed to explain how this will be delivered without teachers doing extra work beyond their contract hours.

  1. Cuts

Most local authorities – thanks to the banking crisis – are facing major cuts in their spending. Since the largest single element of Local Authority expenditure is education and most of that expenditure goes on staff this is bound to lead to significant job loss for both teachers and non-teaching staff. This is likely to be accompanied by increased class sizes and – as a consequence – increased workload. It will also increase the drive to maximise exploitation of both teaching and non-teaching staff by giving them new, additional tasks to undertake, especially in relation to monitoring of individual pupil performance through things like the ‘Assessing Pupil’s Progress’ programme.

  1. Forced rationalisation of provision.

One of the consequences of reduced budgets is that local Authorities are finding themselves obliged to seek less expensive configurations of local education eg by getting rid of dedicated Nursery schools, Infant Schools and Junior schools and only having all through Primary schools, by amalgamating small schools in an area, by closing down small village schools, by organising post 16 education on a pooled basis across a larger area or by removing high schools. This has the effect of reducing choice and diversity – two of the supposed government priorities – cutting jobs through economies of scale increasingly converting school provision into a test and examination conveyor belt which has little time for pedagogic innovation, individuals or creativity.

  1. Class segregation in Education.

The recognition that social class is the best predictor of educational performance in England has not led to a radical review of how we teach working class children or what their needs are. Rather it has led to a discussion about where such children should best be be educated. Both Labour and the Tories are looking at ‘Vocational’ educational pathways and at Vocational Colleges (11-18, 14-18) as ways of ‘meeting the needs of working class children’ – or putting it another way, meeting the needs of business and the economy. The new vocational colleges and vocational centres will have the effect of siphoning off working class students from the mainstream. In many ways this is a return to the pre comprehensive education system of academic provision for the middle class and technical and basic education for the working class. As such it is an enormously retrograde step. It is accompanied by a battery of new ‘diplomas’, certificates and qualifications supposedly to demonstrate that vocational education is equal to the academic pathway. No one is fooled.

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Leicester Education Forum

A PEOPLE’S CHARTER FOR EDUCATION


Preamble

Education should value every human being equally, for themselves, and for their potential to contribute economically, socially and culturally to the world around them. Education is a human need and a social and political necessity. It is a public and social concern, not a private good. People do not learn to think, feel and act with care and consideration for others unless they receive effective nurturing alongside recognition and respect for their efforts. Children, thus, need opportunities to explore, learn and play as they grow up. While education for life skills and employment is important it should not become mere ‘training’.

In response to the social and environmental challenges that face us, we need skills of active, co-operative survival and social and environmental repair. We need creative citizens, who can act in concert, assert their rights, empower others, and continue to learn and change conditions. That is the task of education. Education is, therefore, a liberation activity. As such it can only function properly as a public funded and publicly run service.

The supporters of privatisation and ‘reformers’ in political parties see education as a commodity to be bought and sold in a market. This is a culture of winners and losers that produces new exclusions and makes us into anxious hunters for individual advantages. Real choice means good, safe schools with varied curriculum pathways in every neighbourhood. It means adult access to all types of learning experiences. It means less government control and more real freedom for teachers and learners.

The Six Points of this Charter are a ‘work in progress’.  Please join us in debating these alternatives.

1. Education for all.

Public Education in Leicester should be seen as a whole, not as separate parts. It is a network of providers, resources and expertise that belongs to, and should be available to, all of the people of Leicester. We want the provision of high quality community schools, primary and secondary, in every part of the city. These schools must remain public and free, and be accessible, safe and resourced according to local needs. It should not be necessary for families to move house or for children to travel long distances in order to obtain good schooling, nor is it possible for most people to obtain individual advantage in this way. Education is not an obstacle race, it is a human right.

2. Learning is for life

Children enter school from the age of 3. They have a right to expect a stimulating environment, a curriculum that celebrates learning through play and experience and specialist support for any additional needs they may have, be these SEN or a lack of fluency in English as their second language. This emphasis on meetings needs should apply thoughout a child’s school career. Beyond school, we want all schools and colleges in the city to be available for adult and continuing education as part of a commitment to lifelong learning. This might be provided by the colleges themselves, by the local authority, or by voluntary associations. Provision should include vocational, recreational and academic courses to cater for a variety of needs and aspirations and in recognition of the proven link between education, wellbeing and active citizenship. Local communities should have a say in this provision. Schools and Colleges should be resourced and staffed according to need. All post 16 year olds should be entitled to the equivalent of 5 years free, full-time further or higher education with either maintenance allowances or no loss of benefits.

3. No Market in Education.

Education is a social commodity. It benefits society as a whole. As such, it is best organized on a collaborative basis, based on needs, rather than through market processes that are based on buying, selling and competition. There is no place for profit making in education. Comprehensive state education should set out to be inclusive, to reach everyone and to meet their needs and aspirations. It also needs to reach out to excluded or non-participating groups. As a consequence, there is no place for selection of learners on any grounds and the intention should be to offer learning and courses for the full range of learners in any age group In some cases this may be through collaboration of providers, but the aim should be for diversity of provision within institutions rather than diversity between them.

4. A Creative Curriculum helps promote change.

The curriculum should be based around human and social values and skills needed to make a difference in the world rather than any need to rank, classify or measure learners. The curriculum therefore needs to be broadened and enriched. Although basic skills like literacy and numeracy and vocational skills are important, what is taught at school should not be guided solely by the needs of working life. The creative curriculum, including Art, Music, Dance and Drama also has a key role in the development of young people as articulate, confident members of society. (See Below: The Leicester Pledge) We also need urgent and sustained inquiry and practical research into the best methods of teaching children and adults. Leicester faces a series of identified challenges in meeting the needs of local children and adults. These include low levels of communication skills amongst children entering schools, large numbers of new arrivals to Britain and the needs of children with Special Educational Needs. Children and adults come to education with different cultural and social resources and interests and come to be excluded from learning for many different reasons. A city-wide system of bursaries should be set up to enable teachers and others to undertake action research on these questions

5. For Local Democratic Control and Partnership.

Education needs to be organized on a democratically accountable local basis that involves all stakeholders. The government of schools and colleges should be organised on a democratic basis that includes the principle that children and young people, adult learners and parents should have a voice in the planning and conduct of the education process. The Council should establish a public Education Forum made up of providers and users of education to consider educational policy and resourcing and ensure that there is real accountability. Educational institutions should be run on a participatory basis, with teacher expertise and knowledge respected and used to help shape decisions rather than their being run as top-down command structures. Nationally run bodies like the Learning and Skills Council and the HEFCE should be held to account locally through debate and consultation.

6.Developing a Real Education / Work / Life balance

There should be a dialogue with local employers over the effects of conditions in the working life of adults on the care and education of children and on the opportunities for those adults to access education as one condition for a fulfilling life. This is a vital educational issue because children at all ages need the love and close attention of their main carers who may be men or women. Conditions of employment and levels of earnings should take account of family roles and not compel families to confine their children to endless hours of non-parental supervision as the price for employment and the securing of a living wage.

Establishing a Culture of Entitlement – The Leicester Pledge.

The Leicester Education Forum believes that children in Leicester Schools should have rights about what they will experience and what they can expect from their schooling. These should include:

  • Developing their own ideas, skills, values and ways of thinking and means of expressing themselves.
  • Exploring a variety of learning styles that take account of the range of inputs and stimuli available including visual, auditory and multi media.
  • Working collaboratively with peers.
  • Working ‘virtually’ with peers in other schools and settings using the internet.
  • Learning how to learn (including the confidence to develop their own learning styles).
  • Benefiting from skilled professional support designed to meet their individual learning needs.
  • Contributing to the development of their school through making suggestions to their school council.

Every child will have the opportunity to:

  • Perform and exhibit their work to a variety of audiences in a range of ways.
  • Carry out a community / environmental project.
  • Work with and see or hear the work of professional and community artists.
  • Participate in a dance / drama / musical presentations.
  • Have a piece of their writing prepared for others to read.
  • Have a piece of their written or art work exhibited in city council premises.
  • Use the internet to share their learning with children in other schools and in other countries.
  • Participate in a range of residential experiences.
  • Develop their means of self-expression through art, music, dance, drama, and writing based on a variety of stimulus resources.
  • Develop their physical skills through a range of sports and sporting opportunities.
  • Participate in the development of schools in the city through being a member of a schools council or the Leicester Young People’s Council.
  • Contribute to policy development at their school by contributing ideas to the school governing body and being consulted on proposals for change.

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NUT Conference 2010

Proposed Motion.

Privatisation, Private Education, Faith schools and the aims of the union.

Conference notes that the education policies of both the main parties are committed to the fragmentation and break up of state comprehensive education through privatisation and the extension of non- Local Authority structures in education. Conference believes that it is therefore essential that we restate the aims of the union on education at this time.

Conference reaffirms 2008 Conference policy that all children and young people should be educated in Community Comprehensive schools run by a revitalised and democratically accountable Local Authority. Conference recognises that children being educated alongside their peers from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and faiths is a fundamental aspect of promoting respect, tolerance and openness and developing engaged, aware citizens. Conference further recognises that genuine comprehensive education has never been attempted in this country due to the continuing existence of fee paying schools and selective grammar schools.

To this end Conference affirms its opposition to:

  • All forms of private education.
  • All forms of selection.
  • All forms of privatisation.

Conference notes that fee paying, private education allows the wealthy to seek preferential treatment for their children through smaller class sizes and privileged access to facilities. Conference also recognises that some private schools fail to employ properly qualified teachers condemning some young people to low quality provision and unacceptable practices. Conference believes that private education in independent schools systematically acts to undermine community comprehensive education and should be ended.

Conference asserts that selection of children or young people on any grounds, whether this be based on ability or religious persuasion, is inimical with the notion of equality for all and community cohesion. Selection simply provides a pretext for creaming off certain pupils, usually the most able, thereby acting to the detriment of comprehensive schools. Conference calls for an end to all forms of selection.

Conference notes the consistent drive of government towards encouraging more and more schools to operate outside of the remit and direction of democratically accountable Local Authorities. Conference recognises that this has taken a variety of forms, but that the end product of this is an increasing number of schools where the employer is no longer the Local Authority and where issues relating to school practice, ethos and the curriculum are determined by outside interests in pursuit of their own ends. The effect of this is to impede collaboration between schools, artificially generate a competitive market in education and legitimise differential admission arrangements.

Conference, therefore, while reaffirming the union’s commitment to support members regardless of the type of school or setting they may work in, is opposed to:

  • Academies, whoever their sponsors might be.
  • Trusts schools, whoever their sponsors might be.
  • Foundation schools.
  • Faith schools, whatever their religious affiliation.

Conference instructs the Executive to:

  1. Publicise the commitment of the union to state Community Comprehensive education for all.
  2. Campaign for the ending of the charitable status of Independent schools as a first step towards the integration of all such schools within the state comprehensive system.
  3. Campaign for an ending of all forms of selection and the integration of existing Grammar schools within the Community Comprehensive system with access for all local pupils through agreed Local Authority admissions procedures.
  4. Campaign for the long term incorporation of all current Faith schools as Community Comprehensive schools, with their transfer to Voluntary Controlled status, under the direction of the Local Authority, as a first step.
  5. Campaign for the incorporation of all existing Academies, Trust schools and Foundation schools within the majority Community Comprehensive schools system run by revitalised, democratically accountable Local Authorities.
  6. Continue to oppose all new Academies and Trust schools.
  7. Oppose the creation of new Foundation schools.
  8. Oppose the creation of new Faith schools.
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This is an automatic translation by Google-translation, from French to English, of the

Interventions of Nico Hirtt (APED) at the meeting of the European Network of Education 13 and November 14, 2009 in Valencia (Spain).

(original French text below)

1. The situation of education in Belgium and European issues

In Belgium, APED conducting a battle on two basic plans, linked to our conception of what a democratic school: one that provides all young people knowledge of critical citizenship holders.

1.a. The first great object of our struggles is the extreme unfairness of the Belgian educational system. Whatever the instrument used to measure, PISA and other, education Belgian appears that where the performance gap and segregation by social origin are the most important. This fact is linked to three causes.

First there is the organization of our education as a market, what is technically called a quasi-market. In Belgium, parents have an obligation to choose and find themselves a school enroll their child. Moreover, our schools are divided into networks lessons competitors: over 60% of students attending religious schools funded by the state (called “free”). This fact leads to two very powerful mechanisms of social and academic segregation.

Secondly, Belgium students enter at the age of 12 years in specialized secondary schools in general education, technical or professional. Although on paper the first orientation takes place only 13 or 14 years (by region), in practice it so well 12 years is the selection. This reinforces the mechanisms of social segregation.

Third, our teaching has experienced significant budget cuts over the last thirty years, reducing management and therefore the ability of teachers to implement education for success for all.

Specifically, during the last five years, the struggle for democratization of the school in Belgium was particularly crystallized the issue of enrollment. On the Francophone side, two successive Ministers – Marie Arena and Christian Smith – have tried to introduce regulatory procedures timid on the subject (deadline for entries, obligation to keep records, …). But their plans have stumbled on fierce resistance from groups of privileged parents, particularly well organized and enjoyed a sympathetic ear to the media. They have orchestrated campaigns that have cost their positions to the two ministers and led to the withdrawal of the measures in question.

This fight is made even more difficult by the European context which leads to liberalization and a competitive school. For example, the French decision to remove the card school had a particularly negative impact on Belgium struggles around these issues.

1.b. The second line of the struggle APED regards their content. For ten years in the French Community of Belgium and recently in the Flemish Community, programs based on integrated body of knowledge give way to the new educational ideology fashion: the skills approach. This entails an abandonment of knowledge structured for the benefit of skills called transverse waves ( “solve a problem,” “do a literature search”, “communicate” …) whose definition is extremely vague and thus open the door again, with very large disparities in interpretation.

The fighting in this area is made especially complex because the skills approach is as result of the progressive educational tradition and, in particular, socio-constructivism. In reality, it constitutes a complete reversal of the constructivist approach. Constructivism promotes student activity because it is a way to access the learner knowledge. In the approach by competencies knowledge is more than ancillary development skills. But the semantic similarity between these two approaches conflict is such that some progressive teachers allow themselves to be trapped. Conversely, the opposition camp to the skills approach is sometimes reinforced by the right people who refuse on principle any educational innovation, everything looks like a possible democratization of the school.

In reality, the success of the skills approach is that it perfectly meets the expectations of the economic in a context of instability and dualization of the labor market, instead of requiring flexibility and adaptability that qualification and rising levels of education. The concept of competence can effectively achieve these objectives.

2. Proposals for future discussions in Berlin and Istanbul

The discussions we have had for several years have yielded a consensus on key issues such as refusal of the privatization of education, denial of the introduction of managerial techniques and a competitive schools or teachers The refusal of the instrumentalization of education to serve the capitalist economy, defense of public education, secular defense of a common school with a core of long duration, etc..

However, it also appears in our trade – and it is still apparent in the frank discussions we had yesterday and today – there are dividing lines between us. Some show more misunderstanding and mutual incomprehension that real differences, others are a sign of real weakness of our analysis. In one case as in the other, we are interested in further discussion on these points to arrive, if not a unified approach, at least to clarify our mutual positions. I think that Berlin and Istanbul should provide the opportunity. Here is a list, not exhaustive, some issues that we should try to discuss or decide:

a) How does the globalization of education? Is this a conscious, thinking, imposed by the thinkers of the OECD, EC, World Bank …? A sort of vast conspiracy? Or are we rather to a process of “natural” and “necessary” adaptation of educational systems to changes in the foundations and structural contradictions of capitalism? In other words: who is the enemy? The system and its current representatives?

b) How can educational innovation (necessary to give meaning to learning, to end the accumulation of knowledge dead frozen …) with the refusal of a lower cognitive objectives, the refusal of a downturn on basic skills, refusal of tailoring teaching practices …?

c) How can the teaching staff the necessary autonomy, flexibility, enabling them to meet the challenges of the academic achievement of children of lower classes, without falling into the trap of deregulation of the education system that leads to a competitive schools or school networks?

d) How to end the division of certain educational systems between public schools and private schools under contract (the school “free” as they say in Belgium)? What is the right strategy in this regard? Is it better (and realistic) to require that an end to subsidizing private schools? Or is it better to argue for a reconciliation of the networks leading ultimately to integrate the private network contract in the public network?

e) What are the knowledge – general and polytechnics – to teach to foster the emergence of critical citizenship and how to strike a balance between the necessary transmission of general knowledge and develop values and behavior conducive to justice, democracy, solidarity, multiculturalism …? Instruct or educate? Instruct and educate?

f) How to ensure the necessary involvement of parents in school life, while avoiding placing the school under the domination of utilitarian views closely (market needs work, nursery …) or under the control of middle-class parents who hold the upper hand in most of parent associations?

  1. What role for vocational training at school?

Interventions de Nico Hirtt (Aped)

à l’assemblée du réseau européen de l’éducation,

les 13 et 14 novembre 2009 à Valencia (Esp).

1. La situation de l’enseignement en Belgique et les enjeux européens

En Belgique, l’Aped mène actuellement un combat sur deux plans essentiels, liés à notre conception de ce qu’est une école démocratique : celle qui apporte à tous les jeunes des savoirs porteurs de citoyenneté critique.

1.a. Le premier grand objet de nos luttes est l’extrême iniquité du système éducatif belge. Quel que soit l’instrument de mesure utilisé, PISA ou autre, l’enseignement belge apparaît comme celui où les écarts de performances et la ségrégation selon l’origine sociale sont les plus importants. Cet état de fait est lié à trois causes.

Premièrement il y a l’organisation de notre enseignement comme un marché, ce qu’on appelle techniquement un quasi-marché. En Belgique, les parents ont l’obligation de choisir et de trouver eux-mêmes une école où inscrire leur enfant. Qui plus est, nos écoles sont divisées en réseaux d’enseignements concurrents : plus de 60% des élèves fréquentent des écoles confessionnelles subventionnées par l’Etat (dites “libres”). Cette double circonstance conduit à de très puissants mécanismes de ségrégation sociale et académique.

Deuxièmement, en Belgique les élèves entrent à l’âge de 12 ans dans des écoles secondaires spécialisées dans l’enseignement général, technique ou professionnel. Bien que sur le papier la première orientation n’ait lieu qu’à 13 ou 14 ans (selon les régions), en pratique c’est donc bien à 12 ans que s’opère la sélection. Celle-ci vient renforcer les mécanismes de ségrégation sociale.

Enfin, troisièmement, notre enseignement a connu d’importantes coupes budgétaires au cours des trente dernières années, réduisant l’encadrement et donc la capacité des enseignants à mettre en place un enseignement de la réussite pour tous.

Concrètement, au cours des cinq dernières années, la lutte pour la démocratisation de l’école en Belgique s’est particulièrement cristallisée sur la question des inscriptions scolaires. Du côté francophone, deux ministres successifs — Marie Arena et Christian Dupont — ont tenté d’introduire de timides procédures régulatrices en la matière (date limite d’inscriptions, obligation de tenir un registre,…). Mais leurs projets ont buté sur la résistance farouche de groupes de parents privilégiés, particulièrement bien organisés et qui bénéficiaient d’une oreille complaisante auprès des médias. Ils ont orchestré des campagnes qui ont coûté leur postes aux deux ministres et ont conduit au retrait des mesures en question.

Ce combat est rendu encore plus difficile par le contexte européen qui pousse à une libéralisation et une mise en compétition des établissements scolaires. Par exemple, la décision française de supprimer la carte scolaire a eu un impact particulièrement négatif sur les luttes en Belgique autour de ces questions.

1.b. Le deuxième axe de lutte de l’Aped concerne les contenus enseignés. Depuis dix ans en Communauté française de Belgique et depuis peu en Communauté flamande, les programmes basés sur des corpus intégrés de connaissances cèdent le pas devant la nouvelle idéologie pédagogique à la mode : l’approche par compétences. Celle-ci entraîne un abandon des savoirs structurés au profit de vagues compétences dites transversales (“résoudre un problème”, “faire une recherche documentaire”, “communiquer”…) dont la définition est extrêmement floue et qui ouvrent donc la porte, derechef, à de très grandes inégalités d’interprétation.

Le combat dans ce domaine est rendu particulièrement complexe parce que l’approche par compétences se présente comme issue de la tradition pédagogique progressiste et, en particulier, du socio-constructivisme. En réalité, elle constitue un renversement complet de la méthode constructiviste. Le constructivisme favorise l’activité de l’élève parce qu’elle constitue un moyen de faire accéder l’apprenant au savoir. Dans l’approche par compétences le savoir n’est plus qu’un auxiliaire du développement de compétences. Mais la similitude sémantique entre ces deux approches contraires est telle que certains enseignants progressistes se laissent prendre au piège. Inversement, le camp des opposants à l’approche par compétences se trouve parfois renforcé par des personnes de droite qui refusent par principe toute innovation pédagogique, tout ce qui se présente comme une possible démocratisation de l’école.

En réalité, le succès de l’approche par compétences vient de ce qu’elle répond parfaitement aux attentes des milieux économiques qui, dans un contexte d’instabilité et de dualisation du marché du travail, réclament plutôt de la flexibilité et de l’adaptabilité que de la qualification et de l’élévation des niveaux d’instruction. Le concept de compétence permet efficacement d’atteindre ces objectifs.

2. Propositions pour les débats futurs à Berlin et Istanbul

Les échanges que nous avons eu depuis plusieurs années ont permis de dégager un consensus sur des questions essentielles comme le refus de la privatisation de l’enseignement, le refus des l’introduction de techniques managériales et de la mise en compétition des écoles ou des professeurs, le refus de l’instrumentalisation de l’enseignement au service de l’économie capitaliste, la défense de l’enseignement public, laïc, la défense d’une école commune avec un tronc commun de longue durée, etc.

Cependant, il apparaît aussi au cours de nos échanges — et il est encore apparu dans les discussions franches que nous avons eu hier et aujourd’hui — qu’il existe des lignes de partage entre nous. Certaines témoignent davantage de méconnaissance et d’incompréhensions mutuelle que de réelles divergences; d’autres sont le signe d’une faiblesse réelle de notre analyse. Dans un cas comme dans l’autre, nous avons intérêt à approfondir la discussion sur ces points afin d’arriver, sinon à une unité de vue, au moins à une clarification de nos positions mutuelles. Je pense que Berlin et Istanbul devraient en fournir l’occasion. Voici donc une liste, non-exhaustive, de quelques questions que nous devrions tenter de discuter ou de trancher :

a) Comment fonctionne la globalisation de l’enseignement ? S’agit-il d’un processus conscient, pensé, imposé  par les penseurs de l’OCDE, de la CE, de la Banque Mondiale… ? Une espèce de vaste complot ? Ou sommes nous plutôt devant un processus “naturel” et “nécessaire” d’adaptation des systèmes éducatifs aux changements dans les bases structurelles et les contradictions du capitalisme ? En d’autres mots : qui est l’ennemi ? Le système ou ses représentants actuels ?

b) Comment concilier l’innovation pédagogique (nécessaire pour donner du sens aux apprentissages, pour en finir avec l’accumulation de connaissances mortes, figées…) avec le refus d’un abaissement des objectifs cognitifs, le refus d’un repli sur les compétences de base, le refus d’une taylorisation des pratiques enseignantes… ?

c) Comment assurer aux équipes pédagogiques la nécessaire autonomie, la souplesse, qui leur permettra de répondre aux défis de la réussite scolaire des enfants des classes populaires, sans tomber dans le piège d’une dérégulation du système éducatif qui conduit à la mise en compétition d’écoles ou de réseaux d’enseignement ?

d) Comment mettre fin à la division de certains systèmes éducatifs entre l’école publique et l’école privée sous contrat (l’école “libre” comme on dit en Belgique) ? Quelle est la bonne stratégie à cet égard ? Est-il préférable (et réaliste) d’exiger que l’on mette fin au subventionnement d’écoles privées ? Ou vaut-il mieux plaider en faveur d’un rapprochement des réseaux devant conduire, in fine, à intégrer le réseau privé sous contrat dans le réseau public ?

e) Quels sont les savoirs —  généraux et polytechniques — à enseigner pour favoriser l’émergence d’une citoyenneté critique ?Comment trouver un juste équilibre entre la nécessaire transmission d’une culture générale et  le développement de valeurs ou de comportements porteurs de justice, de démocratie, de solidarité, de multiculturalité… ? Instruire ou éduquer ? Instruire et éduquer ?

f) Comment assurer la nécessaire participation des parents à la vie scolaire, tout en évitant de placer l’école sous la domination de vues étroitement  utilitaristes (besoins du marché du travail, garderie d’enfants…) ou sous le contrôle de parents bourgeois qui tiennent le haut du pavé dans la plupart des associations de parents ?

g) Quelle place pour la formation professionnelle à l’école ?

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ORGANIZACIONES

ESF EDUCATION NETWORK INFORMATION FORM

Name of Organization (+ acronym if applicable)

City of Leicester National Union of Teachers (NUT)

Country/Countries

England

Website URL:www.leicesternut.org.uk
Type of Organization (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Trade Union
Membership (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Fee-paying members
Areas of activity in education and research (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Teachers
  • Pre-school
  • Primary/elementary school
  • Secondary school
  • Pedagogical innovation/experimentation
Other areas of interest (specify)

  • Promoting free state education for all
  • Working with other unions and community organisations to support campaigns against privatisation and cuts.
Actions taken in the past two years (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • Participated in the Support Our Schools (SOS) campaign which prevented the creation of 3 privatised Academy schools. This brought together all the main education unions, the Trades council, The Leicester Social Forum and the Green party in a joint campaign in support of Comprehensive education.
  • Developed a collaborative community model for local education as an alternative to privatisation.
  • Promoted a Literacy Campaign – supported by all local education unions and voluntary organisations – to ensure every child can read by the time they leave Primary education aged 11.
Positive results (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • SOS campaign stopped 3 Academies being created and earned us enormous credibility with local headteachers, teachers and politicians.
  • Literacy Pledge – first proposed by NUT and supported by SOS agreed with local council in July with £1m initial funding, to be allocated by board made up of unions, voluntary organisations, headteachers – not by council officials.
Difficulties encountered (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • Political pressure from government attempting to impose privatisation as a condition of funding to local government.
  • Lack of confidence that ‘we’ can change things due to government contempt for any opposition, notably over Iraq.
  • Tensions between what is collectively best and what might suit one school as a short term expedient.
  • Lack of sufficient engagement with parents.
Proposals for common actions (bullet points, please – max 50 words)

  • Balance sheet of the range of attacks on education – cuts, privatisation, de-regulation, worsening conditions. We can then take this into the ESF.
  • International conference on opposing privatisation and developing alternatives to globalisation – ‘another education is possible’.
  • International day of action on an agreed issue late Autumn.
Proposals for discussion: (bullet points, please – max 50 words)

  • Balance sheet of attacks on education.
  • What would ‘another education’ look like? What do WE campaign for?
Proposals for information exchange (bullet points, please – max 50 words)

  • Changes taking place: cuts, worsening conditions of employment, grater exploitation through larger class groups or longer hours, privatisation, erosion of democratic controls, downgrading of importance of teachers/ replacement of teachers by less trained or qualified employees, corporatisation, fragmentation of services, introduction of fee paying etc
  • Successful campaign initiatives.
Other: (bullet points, please – max 50 words)

  • We need to establish a democratic framework within the education network so that there are not 2 tiers of membership.
  • All proposals/plans/initiatives should be collectively agreed within the Network, not juts by those who attend EPA’s.

ESF EDUCATION NETWORK INFORMATION FORM

Appel pour une école démocratique (Aped) / Oproep voor een democratische school (OVDS) Belgium
http://www.skolo.org
Type of Organization (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Association
Membership (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Fee-paying members
Areas of activity in education and research (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Pre-school
  • Primary/elementary school
  • Secondary school
  • University/further education
  • Vocational training
  • Research
  • Pedagogical innovation/experimentation
Other areas of interest (specify)

  • European education policy
  • Equity in education
  • Education and capitalism
Actions taken in the past two years (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • broad information of Belgian teachers and parents about the social inequality in Belgian education and about the mechanisms of this inequality
  • action against «freedom of school-choice».
  • action against budget-cuts
  • information and action against «competency-based education»
Positive results (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • The debate on «freedom of school choice», was a taboo in Belgium. Thanks to our information campaign, many people realize that it is one of the main causes of social discrimination in school
  • Thanks to our campaign against  «competency-based education», many people realize that this pedagogical vision is not progressive at all, but that it is an instrument of merchandization of education.

ESF EDUCATION NETWORK INFORMATION FORM

Name of Organization (+ acronym if applicable)

Groupe Français d’Education Nouvelle GFEN + LIEN (Lien International d’Education Nouvelle)

Country/Countries

France

Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Kenya, Bolivia,

Website URL: www.gfen.asso.fr, http://www.lelien.org/

http://gfen66.infini.fr/

Type of Organization (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Association
  • Pedagogical Movement
Membership (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Fee-paying members
Areas of activity in education and research (delete the ones not applicable)

  • Pedagogical research and training for collective and individual emancipation
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Pre-school
  • Primary/elementary school
  • Secondary school
  • University/further education
  • Vocational training
  • Research
  • Pedagogical innovation/experimentation
Other areas of interest (specify)

Actions taken in the past two years (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • Seminars, workshops, conferences, festivals, local, national and international. « langage, l’engagement » in 2008 in Perpignan, « helping others so they stop needing help », Paris 2008 and 2009, «Seven complex lessons in education for the future », Ciney, Belgium, 2009,…
  • books, magazines, articles
  • current networking work with popular education, formal education at all levels, university and academic research, trade unions, parents’ associations, language forums,…
Positive results (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • a change in involved people’s outlook on their own capacities and others’, individual and collective.
  • New networking and alliances, local and borderscrossing : a Kenyan cultural project for instance
  • new theory of learning and knowledge production and a developing emancipatory cultural and intercultural creation, research and teaching praxis.
Difficulties encountered (bullet points, please – max 100 words)

  • lack of money of course for the development of common actions involving travels
Proposals for common actions (bullet points, please – max 50 words)

  • European Education Forum, separate from but related to the Social Forum, and preceding it, like it was in Porto Alegre at the beginning
  • A polyglot world is possible : Language Forums within Social Forums (all languages are equal, like the citizens of one Republic)
  • publishing and translating
Proposals for discussion: (bullet points, please – max 50 words)

  • Aren’t social forums the place for refounding leftist intellectual and political thought  and practice? Consequently, what pedagogy within and outward ?
  • Emancipatory education for a culture of peace : giving « access » to arts and knowledge or developing popular creation and grabbing the means of  production of knowledge ?
  • Educating ourselves against the pressure of ideology. Reading, Writing, Speaking : our own concrete mutual challenge when learning to change the world. Can we all be scribes ?
Proposals for information exchange (bullet points, please – max 50 words)

  • Anthropoglossophilia World Congress in Catalunya 2006/2011
  • My experience of Forum seminars and workshops (Nairobi, Malmö) and their effect on the development of a new network and new thinking for « New education »
  • Books and articles published
Other: (bullet points, please – max 50 words)
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