Education evolution offers wider choices

Pupils choose how to sit

Ways of educating youngsters are changing, in a variety of innovative ways. The Connexion visits a school in the Dordogne to see the flexible methods they are using with success

State primary and nursery schools are becoming surprisingly diverse in their educational methods.

They have had a reputation for bare walls, strict lines of desks and learning by rote but alternative methods, usually associated with the private sector, are practised in some public schools.

Each regional education authority has an innovations-expérimentations section and for the past nine years, there has been a Journée Nationale de l’innovation organised by the Ministry of Education, with awards for schools that have introduced successful new ways of teaching.

Teachers are given the freedom to use different methods, as long as they follow the national syllabus. They need the support of other teachers in their school, for it to work, and their project will be looked at by local inspectors or the education authority, so it is not always easy to put into place, but there are more and more schools doing so.

I visited Marcillac-Saint-Quentin, a rural school in the Dordogne, which has introduced a flexible system, inspired by a Canadian method.

The ...

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