Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
The remarks published here are extracts from an article that appeared in an issue of the journal Administration et éducation (no. 1, 1999) devoted to "Social divides, educational divides". Not included are Claude Thélot's observations on the development of social and geographical inequalities in the French education system: he argues that, whatever anyone says and even if inequalities can be seen to be moving upwards, the school system has nevertheless helped to make French society more democratic insofar as inequalities in access to education are, overall, less marked now than in the past.
That said, much still needs to be done in order to weaken the mechanisms whereby élites reproduce themselves. From this perspective, Claude Thélot argues that the education system should become more diversified while maintaining a strong national framework, able to curb the inequalities that might arise. He also makes the case for a deliberate policy of positive discrimination, while pointing out the contradictions that must be avoided, the precautions required and the need for transparency about the choices to be made.
Using the metaphor of painting, Jean-Michel Saussois sets out to provide here three broad-brush pictures representing the rôle of schools in the economy and society in France, the first two looking back to the thirty Glorious Years (the "Trente Glorieuses") followed by the thirty Lean Years, while the third looks forward to the developments linked to what is commonly called "the knowledge-based economy".
Against this historical backdrop, he analyses the dynamic interaction between the tasks given to schools and the changes in priorities and means of regulating the economy and society. Thus between the end of World War II and the end of the 1960s, the French republican élitist model fitted well with the Fordist organization of industrial production. During the subsequent 30 years, characterized by increasing globalization and a growing reliance on market forces, new forms of competition destabilized both the Fordist compromise and the crucial role of schools in facilitating upward social mobility, as well as the tight links between diplomas, skills and remuneration. Although paper qualifications have become more essential than ever, they are now less and less a guarantee of upward social mobility. The result has been a loss of confidence in schools, while even more is expected of them. The current rise of the knowledge-based economy demands new skills, some of which can be acquired and assessed only on the job, and this leads to the emergence of new markets in skills that oblige schools to redefine their key role and to change their ways of operating.
There is no single European model for education, let alone a universally accepted one. Even within the European Union there is enormous diversity, which Francine Vaniscotte sets out to describe here.
Two different views coexist, she explains: the first combines primary education with the first stage of secondary education (everyone attends a single school), whereas the second considers an initial division (selection?) at the beginning of secondary schooling to be necessary.
Taking her analysis a step further, the author identifies four types of education system within the EU:
- the single school model (everyone attends the same school for the whole period of compulsory education) operating in Scandinavia;
- the all-purpose school model, offering pupils a variety of possibilities at secondary level (Great Britain);
- the streamed school model, which is structured according to options chosen early on, but with some degree of mobility between them; this is the most common arrangement in Austria, Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland, etc.;
- the common core model (France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain), which is inspired by the single school model but does not fully apply it, and is shaped by very different traditions and values.
These differences relate to religious traditions and to deep cultural disparities; they also reflect ideological differences, Francine Vaniscotte emphasizes, though she concludes by pointing out some factors bringing the models closer together.
Alain Michel proposes six scenarios for the future of schools in the industrialized countries over the next 15 to 20 years. The scenarios have been developed as part of the programme on "Tomorrow's schools" of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Education (CERI) at OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
Under the first scenario the status quo continues, which would mean generally deteriorating schools, despite some marginal improvements.
The second scenario, called "Extending the market model", shows what might happen if state schools were at least partly privatized, ultimately leading to a greater split between the public and private sectors in education.
The third scenario, called "Schools at the heart of the community", represents the exact opposite, in which education is considered to be a public good, and schools would play a key role in promoting citizenship.
The fourth scenario, too, "Schools as key learning institutions", tries to respond to the need to upgrade the role and prestige of education whilst placing greater emphasis on the responsibilities of schools to develop knowledge and skills.
By contrast, the remaining two scenarios reflect forms of decline. In the fifth, "Networks of learners" within a society composed of networks (typical of today! ) the main features are the fragmentation of national education systems, the diminishing role of the state and, simultaneously, the rise of local school systems and major networks.
The final scenario has the striking title "The flight of teachers and collapse". It foresees schools deteriorating and general discontent, especially on the part of parents and teachers. This is probably unlikely to occur within the next 20 years, and would happen only if there were major upheavals in the short or medium term.
Obviously these scenarios are not all equally probable, and are even less likely to occur in every part of the OECD area. Furthermore, some of them are more hypothetical while others are more normative. Nonetheless, they are extremely useful in quashing fears of possibilities that clearly remain open. They also show the importance of the issues facing schools today.
Everyone agrees that poverty is dreadful and that its eradication should be a top priority. Yet while knowledge is recognized to be the greatest form of wealth for today's societies, enormous inequalities are developing not just in financial terms but also in access to knowledge.
Xavier Godinot sets out here to show that there are different sorts of knowledge: theoretical knowledge, which is often the most highly valued -and is indeed the basis for a process of segregation- but also knowledge related to living and acting, not to mention spiritual knowledge, which is probably shared more equitably but which is harder to express, recognize and turn to good account.
The fight against poverty cannot be limited to efforts that allow a few to escape from want while others are relegated to the categories of disabled and unemployable. Nor cannot it succeed by relying on pseudo-training courses in which noble "manipulators of symbols" claim to instruct the poor, or by maintaining a two-tier system of training and job placement that merely reinforces inequalities, especially given that the educational system cannot on its own remedy the differences in family background.
Echoing the philosopher Michel Serres, Godinot stresses that "the fight against poverty and social exclusion does indeed involve the acquisition of knowledge [...] but it is above all about recognizing kinds of knowledge that are not valued", especially the kinds of knowledge related to living and acting that poor people have, and which need to be linked with theoretical types of knowledge.
Using as an example the experience gained in the "Quart Monde Université" programme, Godinot shows how it is possible, by bringing together poor people, social workers and academics against a background of mutual respect, for everyone to learn from everyone else and for the whole group to make progress - progress towards greater understanding of the processes whereby people become poor and excluded; progress towards the process of empowering the least fortunate in society.
Xavier Godinot is thus not content with denouncing poverty; he describes here a promising way forward based not on aid but on partnership, a partnership that ultimately enriches everyone involved, from the richest to the poorest.
À quoi ressemblera l'école de demain ? Quelles sont les grandes tendances qui influent le plus sur l'éducation et de quelles façons vont-elles se manifester dans les prochaines années ? À quels problèmes de fond faut-il s'attaquer aujourd'hui pour ouvrir dans ce domaine des perspectives d'avenir favorables ? À partir d'un ensemble très fourni de données internationales provenant d'études statistiques et de travaux de recherche, cet ouvrage analyse les tendances à l'œuvre au XXIe siècle ...
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Depuis 1987, le BIPE a mené plusieurs études portant sur la « prospective emploi - formation à l'horizon 2000 ». Ces exercices prospectifs, ont été successivement réalisés en 1987, en 1991 et en 1994. L'objectif était de réaliser une projection à l'an 2000 des besoins du système économique en précisant les effectifs de chaque profession et leur répartition selon les niveaux de diplôme. La logique retenue était celle d'une anticipation des besoins des utilisateurs. En 2001 la Direction de ...
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Although unemployment rates in France remain high (and there is considerable under-employment), in the last two years or so there have been regular complaints about labour shortages with regard to quite disparate kinds of skills. Arnaud du Crest starts by emphasizing this paradox and pointing out the imperfections of the labour market which mean that adjustments cannot be smooth since individuals are not interchangeable.
He analyses the different categories of problems of adjustment - qualitative or quantitative, temporary or structural - and argues that, ultimately, many of the situations of labour shortage arise from some deep-rooted problems that he then examines in greater detail.
The first of these problems relates to educational choices for young people and the match in the widest sense, including expectations, between the training given and the choice of career. The second has to do with pay scales and working conditions, but also with the ways that different careers are perceived. Yet, while France is suffering from 'paradoxical unemployment' (i.e. in a particular skill sector there is both unemployment and labour shortage), this is also, so the author argues, because some people refuse to accept the jobs available, either because they are too poorly paid or because they are considered demeaning.
Arnaud du Crest asks why has France not made better progress in managing its pool of labour and why hard-core unemployment is rising. He then examines the record of other countries and what the French themselves could do to remedy these shortages. Clearly there is no simple solution, but certain steps ought to be taken, such as forward-looking management of employment and skills, and the upgrading of certain 'old' professions that nevertheless remain relevant for the future.
Alain Michel offers us here a masterly prospective study of schooling at the dawn of the 21st century, taking as his starting-point the challenges facing education today as a result of the profound changes occurring in our societies. He then tries to identify the main aims that education systems should be pursuing, and ends by examining how these could be achieved: which approach, style of organization, guidance and evaluation to adopt.
In the first part, he discusses the changing context: the move towards both the global and the local levels, the start of the post-industrial (post-modern) economy, the emergence of new technologies... and the consequences that these may have in terms of demand for education.
He then highlights the priority aims of the education system (training for citizenship as much as for employment, providing everyone with "a survival kit of knowledge and skills") and examines the preconditions for schools to achieve these aims, stressing particularly the organization of the education system, with the simultaneous need for decentralization and for overall regulation.
A. Michel is convinced of the virtues of decentralization and local initiatives, of the urgent need to adapt schooling to its clientèles (equity principle), and of the need for systemic change, yet he keeps a sense of proportion. He argues in favour of maintaining a national system of education, and against the proliferation of brutal major reforms proposed for France, and in favour of flexible collective guidance and the use of stable processes of evaluation.
More than ever, despite the Information Techonology (IT), schools have a key role. Alain Michel tells us why and how this might be achieved.
Alain Michel reviews three recent books about education in France: Samuel Johsua's L'École entre crise et refondation (Paris: La Dispute, 1999, 217 pp.), Jean-Pierre Le Goff's La Barbarie douce. La modernisation aveugle des entreprises et de l'école (Paris: La Découverte, 1999, 126 pp.) and Réussir l'école. Pour une politique éducative by Philippe Joutard and Claude Thélot (Paris: Seuil, 1999, 289 pp.). These books highlight the challenges (or the crisis, as Samuel Johsua calls it) that schools are facing today, as well as the aims of education, in particular to offer equal opportunities to everyone and the importance not only of imparting knowledge but also preparing young people for employment and citizenship.
Alain Michel stresses the problems that there are today to adapt the French education system to changes (because there is too little evaluation of performance and too much centralization, according to Philippe Joutard and Claude Thélot). He urges more logical procedures for assessing pupils and greater transparency in the way that schools operate - yet without sharing the "modern managerial attitude" that Jean-Pierre Le Goff and Samuel Johsua both criticize strongly.
More generally, after having pointed out the differences in the authors' points of view, he emphasizes the points where they agree: "Schools alone cannot resolve all the contradictions and new challenges of our society [...] All of these writers are convinced of the need to promote genuine equality of opportunity." This implies, in particular, "greater autonomy for individual establishments and guidance at national level to provide a framework (especially a basis in a common culture)", and greater recognition for all those involved, above all the teachers. In turn, they too must adapt to the changes taking place in our society
What is needed in response to the "third Industrial Revolution" currently under way is a new social contract which would be the counterpart of what the welfare state was to the second industrial age, except that - given the present trend toward globalization - this new social contract should benefit everyone and not a minority of the relatively fortunate.
To Jerôme Bindé, one of the essential elements in this new social contract is lifelong learning for all, as the only possible remedy for the appalling problems of literacy that affect not only the poor countries but also the so-called developed nations.
Yet these problems cannot be solved simply by extending systems of education based on the old models. We need to completely rethink what is taught and how it is taught, making the most of the latest technologies to promote distance education and access to knowledge for all. But it is important also to be aware of the danger that these technologies may themselves lead to new disparities, new forms of illiteracy, and that they will create a gulf between a minority of the "haves" with access to "the paradise of knowledge" and the "have-nots" consigned to the hell of educational ghettos.
In order to avoid this outcome and truly to allow everyone to benefit from education they need throughout their lives, and not just the basics at the beginning, it is necessary to rethink the delivery systems and promote distance education. The author offers various examples from both North (the Open University in Britain) and South (a Unesco project in nine developing countries).
As regards content, Jerôme Bindé stresses the need "to learn to learn" throughout life: "learn to know, to do, to be, but also to live with one another". And while he emphasizes the usefulness of a basic education in certain disciplines (philosophy, history), he never misses an opportunity to insist that development and democracy ultimately depend on education and the constant fostering of human abilities.
Professeur d'histoire de la philosophie à l'université Paris I, Denis Kambouchner affirme que la crise de l'École est d'abord une crise de doctrine sur ses missions fondamentales, qui explique du reste la persistance du conflit entre pédagogues et républicains, et propose une analyse philosophique de quelques questions clés, afin de dégager quelques principes susceptibles de fonder une rénovation « enfin réfléchie » de l'École. De fait, ce projet ambitieux est curieusement construit à partir d'une analyse ...
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L'Université, contrairement aux apparences, n'est pas une institution immuable. Elle a une histoire variée, qui passe par la Grèce antique, Paris, Bologne mais aussi l'Inde coloniale par exemple. Son avenir sera déterminé par des facteurs déjà à l'œuvre, parmi lesquels la mondialisation (qui oblige les universités et écoles supérieures à être compétitives au niveau international, et encourage les partenariats avec les entreprises) le multiculturalisme (qui pose les questions de la représentativité des minorités dans les instances ...
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L'auteur présente cet ouvrage comme le dernier tome de sa trilogie pédagogique, commencée avec « La tête bien faite » et poursuivie avec « Relier les connaissances ». Son objectif est de dégager et expliciter sept thèmes qui devraient être considérés comme fondamentaux dans les enseignements dispensés au XXIème siècle. Il ne s'agit pas de se situer au niveau des contenus des programmes des diverses disciplines mais, en amont, au niveau paradigmatique et des principes essentiels permettant une éducation adaptée aux principaux ...
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Ainsi que l'énonce l'introduction de cette contribution philosophique au débat sur l'école, « si l'avenir est héritier d'une tradition, il exige aussi une prise en compte des évolutions et des possibles afin de penser dans ses diverses dimensions l'éducation des générations futures ». Après un effort de clarification sur la notion de « valeurs » et ses liens avec celles de morale, éthique et déontologie, l'auteur montre que la question des valeurs est au cœur du débat ...
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Les perspectives de l'emploi 1999 s'ouvrent sur la situation actuelle des jeunes dans les pays de l'OCDE. L'éditorial met en effet en évidence l'existence d'un noyau dur de jeunes qui subit des périodes de chômage prolongées ou de non-emploi interrompues par des périodes d'emploi à bas salaire. Pour améliorer l'employabilité des jeunes, des politiques d'éducation et de formation plus efficaces seraient à mettre en place. La première partie de l'ouvrage ...
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Ce rapport part du constat suivant : l'intensification de la concurrence internationale et le développement de l'Internet et des nouvelles technologies engendrent de nouveaux défis, pour les employeurs comme pour les travailleurs. Selon ses auteurs, les États-Unis ont déjà démontré qu'ils pouvaient être compétitifs en créant des emplois faiblement qualifiés et faiblement rémunérés. Toutefois, ce pays entend aussi créer des emplois hautement qualifiés et performants. Assurer un niveau de vie élevé à tous les Américains ne peut se ...
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Ce livre, accompagné de son Cédérom, se présente comme un outil destiné aux étudiants en Relations Internationales et, plus généralement, à tous ceux qui se préoccupent de l'avenir de la planète. International Futures est en effet un modèle de simulation par ordinateur qui permet de construire ses propres scénarios en modifiant des variables interdépendantes. Barry B. Hughes, professeur à l'Université de Denver, présente d'abord un choix de tendances concernant la démographie, l'économie, l'alimentation et l ...
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Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.