Fight against dropping out: understanding the reality of disadvantaged students

“Despite all of these efforts, dropping out remains such a bitter scourge. […] A plague that often attacks poor children, ”writes the former school commissioner and psychologist Robert Cadotte in his essay entitled Letter to Teachers launched last week.

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“Despite all of these efforts, dropping out remains such a bitter scourge. […] A plague that often attacks poor children, ”writes the former school commissioner and psychologist Robert Cadotte in his essay entitled Letter to teachers launched last week.

According to him, Quebec is preparing a terrible future for its children and denounces the elitism of the Quebec school system. Published by M Éditeur, a brand new left-wing publishing house, the essay is political and offers a progressive shift in education. Its subtitle sets the tone: “The public school is going badly! The solutions we don't want to talk about. "

“I should have written this book 20 years ago, but I wouldn't have had my 40's of experience then! »Explains the author, founder and former director of the late UQAM training center on teaching in disadvantaged areas, which took four years to write his book.

The book, filled with anecdotes and historical references, describes, often with irony, the reality of the children who live in Robert Cadotte's “village”, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. It is therefore not surprising that Doctor Gilles Julien, very present in this Montreal neighborhood, attended the launch. “Poor families on all sides are experiencing unacceptable stresses,” writes Robert Cadotte. In his book, he gives the example of automobile pollution, cardiovascular diseases, teenage mothers and violence, phenomena that children experience on a daily basis. Teachers need to understand this reality that affects their students.

Teachers involved

Robert Cadotte wants everyone who works in education to read his book and react to it. “Teachers must become intellectuals again. He also hopes that progressive teachers will take more place in schools. "They are the ones who fight for freedom (that of thinking and saying, and not that of consuming and investing), equality (between children of different social classes) and fraternity (our sensitivity to others) . "

The exhibition The school of yesteryear

The book launch took place at Château Dufresne, where is held until May the exhibition The School of Yesteryear, in which Robert Cadotte collaborated. This exhibition traces the Montreal school between 1860 and 1960: desks, textbooks and bulletins alongside religious objects and uniforms. Children at the end of elementary school can also relive a full day in a 1930s classroom, with religious teachers and etiquette lessons!

Read also :

A week to hook the students

Dropout: generate mobilization through social media

Reading and writing for boys' success

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