On November 3, a young teacher, Mathieu Côté-Desjardins launched a new web series: De-education. She mixes cartoon and interviews with pedagogues, teachers, public figures. This series shoots point blank at the Quebec school system. Infobourg spoke with Mathieu Côté-Desjardins. Here is the second part of this interview.
You will have to wait for the last 8 episodes of your series to explore the solutions. What are they?
We need solutions that benefit children, not adults, even if it means going outside the school system. Education must be brought back to the center of the school system. Teacher training needs to be improved. At the university, we must disseminate several visions of education, several models.
So there are many solutions, where to start?
In U.S! We must question the societal aspect of education. It comes from us, from our relationship with children. Do we care to know where we park our children for eight hours every day? We have to recreate a social system. Investing as a community in education will reduce economic and ecological crises. I don't believe in revolution, but we have to question everything.
Is the private school system a solution?
I am not for the private sector, but I appreciate the atypical innovations of the private sector. However, with government subsidies and parents' money, the private sector could go much further. Founding a school on a farm, for example! Why not?
You often speak of the free school. What is it exactly?
Schools in Quebec today are undemocratic. It is the tyranny of adults. The free school is really democratic. Children have the choice, they take part in decisions, to hire teachers or school administrators, for example. It is a place where freedom is not without a future, where it is proportional to responsibility, with supervision by adults, of course. I do not understand why these schools are illegal in Quebec while they are legal elsewhere in Canada and the United States. You have to open up. On homeschooling, for example, which is suitable for certain children, but which is closely supervised in Quebec.
What is your role in this debate on de-education?
I am a solution in my classroom. I call it educational disobedience. I don't want to become a specialist in de-education, there is nothing positive about it. I believe that my mission is to inform before criticizing. I want to give lectures, to become a social educator. This is why the first episodes are about the problems and the solutions come afterwards. It is necessary to make a diagnosis before treating. You cannot sow on dead land, you have to leave it fallow for a while. It is the same with this debate. You have to take the time and I want to talk about it for a long time. My series gives a platform to solutions when we never take the time to talk about them.
You devote an episode to the inertia of teachers. What message do you want to send to your colleagues?
A good teacher understands that we must denounce inertia. The potential of a teacher without bureaucracy or a debilitating program would be endless. You have to cultivate passion. So, I say to the teachers: are you following me? Or do you just settle for that?
To view the webseries La Désucation, go to the website: www.ladeseducation.ca