Opinion: Connect the dropouts

I am sharing a very specific brief with you. I will let you read it first, then I will reveal to you who wrote it, to whom and when it was submitted ...

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I would like to share with you today a very specific brief. I let you read it first, then at the very end, I reveal to you who wrote it, to whom it was submitted, and in what year ...

Then I would like to have your impressions!

Good reading!


Connect the dropouts

A "dropout" school:

The school of today is perfectly adapted to the end of the nineteenth century but is no longer in the race for the third millennium at all.

All its administrative, organizational and educational structures are designed on a collective or mass industrial model, as was done in factories at the end of the last century.

For their part, educators must, in order to be pedagogically effective, teach according to a preceptor or pre-industrial model, based on the person-to-person relationship, logically structured study programs, divided into thousands of notional objectives.

During this time, the pupils gather information everywhere, at school, in life, in the media, in a post-industrial fashion, that of the information age. They learn in a non-linear, impressionistic way, zapping on everything that interests them, a host of flashes belonging to multiple rationales. They develop mental processes which may be valid but which are hardly compatible with school learning.

Beyond all the ailments denounced everywhere, the most serious evil from which the Quebec school system suffers, and it is not the only one, is therefore an almost total inadequacy to socio-economic development and to the way of learning. young people of our time.

It is not our schoolchildren who are “dropouts”, it is not our overwhelmed administrators and our overworked teachers who drop out, it is the whole school which is “dropout” in relation to the realities of our world and our youth. .

Structural reform

If there must be reform in this area, it should not yet be plasters on wooden legs, but a real structural reorganization.

Not just transfers of power from school boards or the Ministry of Education as some would like: it would only be the rearrangement of the seats on the deck of the Titanic.

Neither would the explosion of the collectivized school system in favor of à la carte individual schooling, because the social fabric would be torn, inequality would be established in principle and the costs would be astronomical.

Rather, we are proposing a horizontal restructuring involving all education partners. While retaining traditional classrooms and collective administration, it is possible to manage the individualization and personalization of teaching and learning to accommodate the diversity of class group members. It is a reality with which the school must deal at a time when one brings together, on the same benches, pupils of different linguistic, ethnic, cultural or social origins, even suffering from various handicaps or endowed with diverse talents. .

It is about making the school system adaptable:

• various educational projects proposed by parents;
• various modes of administration and management;
• various teaching methods: methods, approaches, use of various instruments;
• various methods of evaluating learning;
• to various modes of learning in pupils: learning styles, rhythms, interests, talents, means of information, sensorimotor stimulation; individual learning, in small groups, in large groups ...

And this system should be able to tie in with the evolving reality of the world of work, business, culture, politics, leisure - in other words, with all facets of society.

A trendy school 

We affirm that this adaptation is possible now, thanks to the adapted interventions of good teachers and the judicious use of new information and communication technologies, that is to say, in clear, with the computer equipped. extensions necessary to make them multimedia workstations, connected to internal and external networks and equipped with management software and adequate content.

However, there can be no learning or education with technology alone. We need pedagogical interventions better suited to learners, presenting them with a social vision and life projects proposed as models.

There is also a need for information processing training. Zapping or surfing the information superhighways is not necessarily educational. Students must be able to develop reasoning, to design a text, to put together a tight argumentation, to analyze a text, to appreciate good literature, to handle the language well, to solve problems and to reason. rigorously.

For that, it would be necessary:

• That each pupil in a class be able to have access, in the short term, during one third of the class time (the other two thirds being devoted to learning in groups or small groups) to a computerized system, with access to bibliographic resources or multimedia allowing it an individualized and personalized learning. In the long run, tools must be continuously available when they become necessary and useful.

• That each teacher benefit from a complete connected and portable office automation tool supporting teaching program management software, educational instruments and means, classroom setting, evaluation, integrating various methods or approaches.

• That each administrator be equipped with a system connected with diversified management software for educational projects, administrative management and evaluation management.

Connected systems

It would therefore be necessary to provide:

• A connection to the Quebec School Telematics Network (RTSQ) and to the Internet for each school;

• An administration system for each school (largely already existing);

• An access and guidance system in each school library with connection to other municipal and regional resource centers;

• a telephone and modem (or fax / modem) in each classroom;

• A portable office automation and individualized education management system for each teacher;

• Eight systems[1] individualized learning networked and provided with multimedia for each class;

• Adequate management software and computerized educational content (a cost equivalent to that of the hardware systems must be expected in the medium term);

• Recurring budgets for the renewal of hardware and software every 3 or 4 years.

You have to plug in

This restructuring could not be done without:

• That all teaching programs be reviewed, not to add to them, but to integrate new technologies so as to take into account their consequences at the level of teaching disciplines;

• That the cage of the educational system be broken to allow local latitudes;

• That the standards of school organization be reduced;

• That the evaluation be more flexible and take into account, among other things, the acquisition of mental processes and not just notions; that it be diversified and personalized;

•      That teacher training integrates new information and communication technologies (NICT) into all didactics; contains compulsory training in the use of standard tools and the information highways, as well as in the use and creation of learning scenarios and training in the management of personalized instruction and in diverse groups.

This will require universities to be equipped accordingly. Otherwise, it will be necessary to resort to alliances or other collaborations: hardware and software companies; research and development centers; more experienced school boards and colleges;…

• That an information campaign make it clear that the NICTs are not there to steal jobs in the education system nor to reduce learners' heads to the size of a pea, but that their role is to help administrators to administer well, teachers to teach well and young people to learn well in a diverse school that must stay connected to the real world of business, science and culture.

A trendy country

What we are proposing does not want to revolutionize school organization. It is a question of making the pedagogy effective so that it reaches each child and helps him to structure himself according to his talents and his appetites. It is a question of putting at the service of the school and its mission the modern means which exist and which are there for that: means of management of the diversity of the educational projects.

In the information age we want to make all partners in education trendy and not illiterate on the information superhighway.

It would be a much more profitable investment in the medium term than large concrete and asphalt projects. The much higher future costs of professional, social and cultural maladjustment could be avoided. This investment could create jobs if we know how to buy from Quebec at least when it comes to the multiple software and tutorials required. Quebecers have already proven themselves in these areas.

We ultimately propose to build a new country thanks to a renewed school, and to take a decisive step that puts Quebec among the nations of the information and communications age, in other words to make Quebec a connected country. .

Connect the dropouts!

[1]This standard, in the short term, would correspond to the equivalent of a computer for three students. It would be up to each school to determine the methods of distributing the devices in each class. For example, a uniform distribution might be eight. However, experience shows that this would not be the best use of resources by students of different levels. In the long term, it would be desirable to aim for one device per student.



This brief was submitted to the Secretariat of the Socio-Economic Conference on the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education, by a group made up of:

  • Michel Arcouet, educational advisor, Cantons School Board
  • Michel Aubé, professor, University of Sherbrooke
  • Claude Coulombe, vice-president, Machina Sapiens
  • Renée Desautels, professor, CEGEP Rosemont
  • Marcel Labelle, President of REPARTIR, Coordinator of the Teaching Resources Sector, CECM
  • Jacques Latreille, professor, CEGEP Edouard-Montpetit
  • Francis Meynard, editor of REPARTIR, retired
  • Bertrand Morin, professional, MEQ
  • Gilbert Paquette, Professor, Science and Technology Teaching and Research Unit, Director of the Cognitive Computing and Training Environments Laboratory (LICEF)
  • Normand Pinet, retired
  • Isabelle Quentin, PUL

It was June 26, 1995, and these people referred to themselves as the REPARTIR Group ...

So you were saying? Personally, this text touches me because it expresses the passion and hard work of these people, which is reflected today in the actions of many people still!

Thank you to Mr. Marcel Labelle for having "dug up" it and for having accepted that we circulate it again!

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About the Author

Audrey Millerhttps://ecolebranchee.com
General manager of École branchée, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technologies and a bachelor's degree in public communication. Member of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec, she is particularly interested in the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education, while actively creating bridges between the actors of the educational ecosystem since 1999. She is involved these days in particular in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, his rabbits, horses, good wine and... Web programming!

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