Eighteen academics signed a open letter in the newspapers to denounce the denigration of the Quebec education system in the public sphere. They sign their letter “Academics proud of their competent school”. Infobourg spoke with four signatories of this letter: Louise Lafortune (UQTR), Noëlle Sorin (UQTR), Luc Prud'homme (UQTR), Ghislain Samson (UQTR), Sonia Lefebvre (UQTR), Carole Raby (UQAM) as well as with Sylvie Ouellet (UQTR). Report of the discussion.
Last December, the OECD unveiled the results of the 2009 PISA survey (the acronym for International Student Assessment Program) 2009. This program assesses the performance of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics and in science in 65 different countries. Quebec is in the leading pack for each of the subjects, its results being the best in the Francophonie.
Louise Lafortune, professor in the Department of Educational Sciences at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières, would like Quebeckers to be proud of their education system, which ranks well internationally. “We always retain the negative element in this kind of study, whereas we should insist on the positive! "
His colleague Luc Prud'homme is delighted that Quebec is a society that is making progress in terms of education. “When we designed the Pedagogical Renewal, we took two years to listen to what citizens had to say. Today, we have an approach which brings together action and knowledge and which helps children to see the relevance of what they are learning. The student is mobilized in the action, he is given tools for the head, methodological and relational tools. Sylvie Ouellet notes the importance of cross-disciplinary skills which "make it possible to make connections. What is learned in mathematics helps in science! It's logic! "
According to academics, the bad impression on the education system is the fault of the media, politicians and academics themselves. “To develop a system, it takes time. Change does not happen overnight, ”explains Luc Prud'homme. “The media formats do not allow taking time to explain this change, laments Louise Lafortune. We attach more importance to the opinion of certain politicians on education while we do not ask specialists to speak out and explain. Parents, in particular, seem lost and often demand a return to the good old methods.
This is the case for the single bulletin for all Quebec students that the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport wants to establish and which would highlight the acquisition of knowledge. However, according to Sonia Lefebvre, this bulletin was set up because of pressure from parents, but does not meet the interests of the child. “The single report card is not consistent with the curriculum and the way of teaching. Rather, explain the ratings and skills to parents instead of questioning everything. "
Louise Lafortune believes that the money spent on the creation of this new newsletter could have been better used elsewhere: “We must value education, and teachers, not only in words, but also in action. Standardization is not the solution, you have to trust the school teams and teachers. "
Find out more about the PISA survey
To read the letter sent to the media
To read reactions to this letter