Alternative schools in France

People involved:
Amélia Legavre
François Taddéi

Keywords: Education / Pedagogy / Well-being / Alternative Schools

Project description

Title: Alternative schools in France : what can they teach us about french educational system evolution ?

The aim of this project, mixing education science, political science, and sociology, is to make clearer the origins and the impact of the innovative schools into the French educational system, exploring global theories of educational change processes. The number of this type of schools, using unusual pedagogies and focusing on student well-being, is growing fast and rise a lot of questions without being academically studied.

First of all, we need a clear description of this schools and the learning approach they use. Innovation in education is not new, and these schools take inspiration from old pedagogies but also from some recent disciplines in the education field, like neurosciences or positive psychology. Ethnographic immersions will help us create of a typology of this schools, in order to understand the diversity of alternative education, and their societal motivations. Nevertheless, their rise is quite unusual and makes us wonder about the nowadays’ factors fostering this growth.

I would like to underline that these schools are part of a larger movement of alternative education, made by organisations which seem to recognize themselves as part of a social network. What looks quite unusual is that this movement does not mean to remain an alternative participating into education, but really aim to change the French educational system. Using networks analysis approach, we’ll be able to show how technology and online networks tend to play a role in education’s evolution.

Finally, I will analyse the social impact of such schools into the french system. I will study the three main stakeholders and changemakers in the education system : parents ; teachers ; administration. Using both qualitative and quantitative approach, I will ask them about their opinions and choices, taking alternative schools as an excuse to tackle the pedagogical evolution issue.