Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Teaching history in France


  • Please log in to reply
122 replies to this topic

#1 D Letouzey

D Letouzey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 451 posts

Posted 25 February 2004 - 01:49 PM

The seminar on Teaching and Learning History in France will start on March 17th.

Thank you for your questions and remarks

Daniel

Edited by D Letouzey, 17 March 2004 - 08:33 AM.


#2 D Letouzey

D Letouzey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 451 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 08:32 AM

The seminar on Teaching and Learning History in France is now starting.

Merci à tous ceux qui prendront le temps de venir dialoguer avec nous,
témoigner sur leurs pratiques, donner leur point de vue, voire corriger mon anglais appris voilà longtemps au lycée. ;)


- Who are we ?
I teach history (and geography) in a French Lycee, in Vire, a quiet small town in Normandy. You may read some more biographical details on http://educationforu...h...c=530&st=24
I don't teach in English, and I am sure that both English, and French members of this forum will help us during the duration of this forum.
If you can read French, you may have a look at the resources and experiments I have harvested for an Internet Chronicle, published since 1997 by Historiens & Géographes, a professional magazine for history teachers.
I am the webmaster of 2 sites, an associative website, and a private one :
http://clioweb.free.fr
http://aphgcaen.free.fr

Jean-Philippe Raud-Dugal, who teaches in Tulle, will also express his own POV.
Have a look at his website about European classes :
http://apella.ac-lim...europ/index.htm


Some historical issues have already been delt within this forum : Teaching art history, teaching local history, teaching the Holocaust.


We shall try to answer your questions, and investigate several other issues :
- French curriculum
- French final exams, secondary schools, lycees
- European classes
- History textbooks
- French resources
- History and ICT in France
- French historiography
- How to become a history teacher ?
- How can we teach about controversial subjects ?
- What about anglo-french history ?


Teaching and Learning History in secondary schools (college, lycee) :

- History is a compulsory subject for all pupils, with consequent schedules :
in college (6e to 3e, 11 to 15 years old), 3h to 3h30 for history and geography ;
in lycees, (2de, 1ere, term), it varies according to the dominant subject : usually 4 H in L (litterature), 2h30 in S (scientific), 2 h in technical classes.

- We teach frequently up to 36 pupils in a lycee class, 30 in a college class.
That may have consequences on our pedagogy.
In classe de seconde (15 to 16 YO), we work 3 hours with the whole class, 30 mn every week with a group (usually the class is divided in 2, ).

- The ever closer wedding between history and geography is an old French characteristic.
Some geographers complain about geography being taught by historians...
Two weeks ago, future teachers had to write a dissertation about "Power and Land in hellenistic middle-east - 323 et 55 BC" (Pouvoir et territoire)

Sometimes, we teach also "éducation civique", a mixture of politics, ethics, sociology...

- What are the main areas of the French history curriculum ? (Andrew Field)

This curriculum consists in 2 texts :
an official one ("les programmes"),
and an authorised reading ("les documents d'accompagnement").

All teachers are free to choose their own pedagogy, but they must obey this national curriculum.
From Julia Thopson 's website, you can get an english version for the lycee : http://perso.wanadoo...julia.thompson/

In French, a copy of the whole curriculum can be read on some websites :
http://pedagogie.ac-...ogram/index.htm
http://www.eduscol.education.fr/D0012/

Roughly, at the college (11-15 years old) :
- 6e : Ancient World – for instance Greek history, 10 hours
- 5e : Medieval and Modern history
- 4e : Modern Europe, from 1600 to 1914
- 3e : The world from 1914 to nowadays

in the lycee :
2e : The roots of the European history :
( I – Athenian democracy (Ve)
II – Christianism history
III – Mediterranean, XIIth
IV - Humanism and Renaissance
V – French Revolution, political life up to 1851
VI – Europe 1800-1850)

1e : The world, Europe, France 1850-1945
Term : The world, Europe, France since 1945.

Next Friday, we shall describe our exams.
To-morrow, Jean-Philippe will focus on the way we teach anglo-french relations in History.
I am sure you will react.
:flowers:

Edited by D Letouzey, 29 July 2007 - 04:30 PM.


#3 Laurent Gayme

Laurent Gayme

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 01:52 PM

Hello !

Who am I
I am a french teacher. I teach history and geography in a college of Mantes la Ville, near Mantes la Jolie and the former frontier between France and Normandy. Since the treaty of St Clair sur Epte (911), Mantes la Jolie was part of the former french kingdom :king:
The city has been gained and burned by Guillaume le Conquérant (William the Conqueror ?), but he was deadly wounded during the fights. :medieval:
During the "Guerre de Cent Ans", british troops gained the city, but Du Guesclin, with crafty tactics, liberated Mantes ;) :teacher:
I give those details because our rich local history is one way to study middle ages in 5e, especially the construction of the french realm and the "guerre de cent ans" (hundred years war ? :huh: ) period.

About the french system of teachers transfers :
There are two periods for teachers tranfers
- transfers from one school district to another (january), for volunteers : one can only ask for entering a new school district, according to his score (score depends on length of service as a teacher and in the local school, teacher's rank, number of children, etc.)
- transfers within a schoool district (april), for volunteers : teachers who want to teach in a new school( in case of failure, they stay in their former school : no danger), or teachers who have just entered a new school district (see above : dangerous because they have lost their former school and have to accept any school they will obtain, whatever they had asked for). One can ask for schools, cities, groups of cities, department, school district, according to his score.

Sorry for my poor english :D
Laurent Gayme

#4 Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,546 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 02:28 PM

About the french system of teachers transfers :
There are two periods for teachers tranfers
- transfers from one school district to another (january), for volunteers : one can only ask for entering a new school district, according to his score (score depends on length of service as a teacher and in the local school, teacher's rank, number of children, etc.)

How often can people apply for transfers? Seems like a very sensible way of enabling treachers to gain experiences of a variety of schools and contexts. Is this directly linked to professional development and ongoing training?

#5 MUYL

MUYL

    New member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 03:39 PM

Hi,

My name is Jean-Michel MUYL

I teach geography (and History) in Montereau-fault-Yonne, in a multiethnic suburb of Paris.
I'm the webmaster or animator of academic sites :

http://www.ac-cretei...js/welcome.html
http://www.ac-creteil.fr/hgc/
I have a special interest in GIS, and other informatic tools.

I'm interested with any comparisons between french and british history and geography teaching.

#6 JohnDClare

JohnDClare

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,187 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 03:50 PM

Do French schools still do that system where - towards the end of one's career - one can opt to lose all posts of responsibility and drop to a half timetable, on a two-thirds salary?

Here we have a daft system whereby - since our pensions are directly related to our salary in the final three years of our career - older teachers not only hang on their positions, but in fact are still looking to do more. Yet this is the very point of their career when they are beginning to slow up physically and (sometimes) mentally. It leads to a 'tired old men' management structure. And it hinders the promotion of brighter, younger people into middle and senior management posts.

Since I came across the French system on school exchange visits during the 1980s, I always thought it an excellent way of 'going out gracefully'. But do you still do this in the cash-strapped 21st century?

#7 JP Raud Dugal

JP Raud Dugal

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 04:10 PM

Do French schools still do that system where - towards the end of one's career - one can opt to lose all posts of responsibility and drop to a half timetable, on a two-thirds salary?

Hi there,

I'm Jean Philippe Raud Dugal, teaching history both in French and English (within, whay we called 'section européene) in Tulle near Limoges, France.

Yes John, the system is still the same but we had last year a major change. At the end of our career, it is harder and harder to have this opportunity and if we do so we have to lose a lot of money on our pension.

A lot of teacher resigned in doing that. Then we are right in the cash-strapped 21st century as you said :curse:

Jean Philippe
http://apella.ac-lim...er-tulle/europ/

#8 JP Raud Dugal

JP Raud Dugal

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 04:43 PM

How often can people apply for transfers? Seems like a very sensible way of enabling treachers to gain experiences of a variety of schools and contexts. Is this directly linked to professional development and ongoing training?

They can apply for it each year if they want to. But, usually, when they have the area they want they stay there till the end of the career.
In fact, most of the time, single teachers are going in the worst places (and they are numerous). You have to get married to, perhaps, have a good area to teach.
It's much more on strategy than on training and professional development.
In our system, professional development is the exception.
There is no head of department, and things like that.

#9 Laurent Gayme

Laurent Gayme

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 05:19 PM

About the french system of teachers transfers :
There are two periods for teachers tranfers
- transfers from one school district to another (january), for volunteers : one can only ask for entering a new school district, according to his score (score depends on length of service as a teacher and in the local school, teacher's rank, number of children, etc.)

How often can people apply for transfers? Seems like a very sensible way of enabling treachers to gain experiences of a variety of schools and contexts. Is this directly linked to professional development and ongoing training?

When a teacher tranfers, he will loose a part of his score (used for the transfer : points related to the length of service in the former school for example).
For example I intend to transfer this year, within my school distric (académie of Versailles). My score is near to 400 points and I will ask for a lycée (I teach in a collège). First of all, I don't know exactly in which lycée appointments are free : by the 9th of april I will find a list of free appointments on the school district's web page, but lists are incomplete (free appointments after the first period of transfers from a school district to another are often missing). So I have to search by myself where those free appointments are (asking teachers trade unions, lycées, other teachers, etc.).
Secondly each school (each school district too) is listed in a scale of points, wich depends on how many appointments are free and on the score of teachers asking for these appointments. The scale of points is different every year, and I can only know the scale of last year.
Let's take an example. In the school distric of Versailles, I can ask for the "Lycée St Exupery" in Mantes la Jolie, or the "Lycée Hoche" in Versailles To obtain Mantes is very easy and don't cost many points, because the lycée is in a multiethnic suburb (lower middle-class, workers, unemployed people) and has not so good results at the BAC. Newbies often find their first job as a teacher in Mantes. Lycée Hoche is probably very expensive because of high results and children of the rich bourgeoisie : teachers are often older, often at the end of their career. I am quite sure to obtain St Exupery, but maybe nobody will ask for the job in Hoche (if the job is free).

To answer the question, I can transfer every year, but doing so I will hardly gain points. I am note sure Iwill gain "experiences of a variety of schools and contexts", because I will probably obtain the same kind of school. I think transfer is more likely linked to self development and way of life.

Improving my english is a tough job :D

#10 D Letouzey

D Letouzey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 451 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 05:46 PM

Do French schools still do that system where - towards the end of one's career - one can opt to lose all posts of responsibility and drop to a half timetable, on a two-thirds salary?


As JP said, it was possible until last year, with a further advantage for women who had 2 ou 3 children. My wife retired at 57.

A maths colleague is still doing this, this year. We make jokes, saying he is coming as "a tourist". In fact, he is a marvellous fellow, but he has been tired by successive and silly reforms.

The youngers will have to wait until they are 60, and to get full pensions, some may have to work until 62 ou 63. I started to pay at 18. Most students have now to wait until 23 or 25.
That 's one of the reasons of the 2003 spring strikes.
We still have the same minister, at least until sunday and the regional elections.

Daniel

#11 Laurent Gayme

Laurent Gayme

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 06:39 PM

[quote name='D Letouzey' date='Mar 17 2004, 05:46 PM'] [QUOTE]

The youngers will have to wait until they are 60, and to get full pensions, some may have to work until 62 ou 63. I started to pay at 18. Most students have now to wait until 23 or 25.
That 's one of the reasons of the 2003 spring strikes.
We still have the same minister, at least until sunday and the regional elections.

Daniel [/quote]
I will have to work until 65 :curse: , I started to pay at 25

Laurent

#12 gboue

gboue

    New member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 07:25 PM

Hello!

I am a french history and geography teacher working now in a very good parisian lycee (Lycee Helene Boucher) .

I just come back from a visit in London of a private college (King Alfred in Golders Green suburbs of London) and I would like to add my own story to the french transfer policy.

I have always lived in Paris: my first job (with a pregnant wife in Paris) was in Rheims (six hours a day of train and tube), I stayed there for two years (my train ticket were not founded in anyway by the school). With now two born children (including a disabled one) I was send in Vitry sur Seine in a "college" (poor and foreigners lower social classes including some kids who had the choice between school or juvenil jail!!) I stayed in this school 11 years, trying every year to change. Eventually, I asked my MP (which at this time was justice minister) to give me a push (unofficial of course), It worked and I was appointed in a parisian college where I stayed 7 more years (lower to upper middle class including lovely african kids who didn't speak a word of french). During all this time , I tried hard to improve my professional situation, I succeed at the "agregation" to no benefits. In 2000 I managed to receive the authorisation to teach in an European Class, but It took me three more years before getting a school with an European Class.

I must say that the french system is really disappointing, it doesn't take your personnal achievments, experience or former professional history as a valuable point to give you the place you deserve.

I contest this system but I wonder if it's not the "least worst" on this side of the Manche ;)

#13 D Letouzey

D Letouzey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 451 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 09:43 PM

As you have seen this morning, several aspects have been choosen.
Pensions and transfers were not the first on our list.

2 comments :
- Since Louis XIV, 1793 and Napoleon, France was a centralised country. For many years, young teachers were sent in places they didn't choose : I met, in England, someone from Perpignan who started his career in Dunkerque. ;)

- The last government, socialist with Allegre as MoE, conservative with Raffarin try to imitate the german system : we call it "decentralisation" or "regionalisation" . That policy explains the 2 times in a transfer.

Now, in a school, the buildings belong to the local authorities, department or region.
Some politicians would like to control also the teachers' appointment, and in some cases, the content of what is taught. Corsican, and corsican history in this island, for instance.

Daniel

Edited by D Letouzey, 17 March 2004 - 09:46 PM.


#14 Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,546 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 10:13 PM

Roughly, at the college (11-15 years old) :
- 6e : Ancient World – for instance Greek history, 10 hours
- 5e : Medieval and Modern history
- 4e : Modern Europe, from 1600 to 1914
- 3e : The world from 1914 to nowadays


Is this curriculum prescribed by the government or do you have an element of choice over what is taught in each school, town, region?

Also: How important a subject is history considered to be by politicians etc? I know daniel will have seen the threads here about history in the Uk being under threat, is the same the case in France?

#15 Laurent Gayme

Laurent Gayme

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 11:48 PM

Roughly, at the college (11-15 years old) :
- 6e : Ancient World � for instance Greek history, 10 hours
- 5e : Medieval and Modern history
- 4e : Modern Europe, from 1600 to 1914
- 3e : The world from 1914 to nowadays


Is this curriculum prescribed by the government or do you have an element of choice over what is taught in each school, town, region?

Also: How important a subject is history considered to be by politicians etc? I know daniel will have seen the threads here about history in the Uk being under threat, is the same the case in France?

Same curriculum everywhere. It's a national curriculum designed by MoE (historians, inspectors), and a great majority of french teachers are strongly attached to that (idem in maths, french, ancient languages, english, german spanish, etc.). National curricula are a condition of liberty (protection against local political interventions) and equality (between the school districts and between the schools). Every year we should end the curriculum (theoretically : in fact time is often missing, but with the curriculum we have hourly suggestions for every chapter).
We can use any method to teach (but inspectors, when they come, have some preferences and recommandations), we organize our own hourly programming (I can spend more time on a chapter). In college, we have chronological and geographical marks year by year to be learned by the pupils (Nil, Himalaya, states of EU for example, 52 before Christ : Ceasar defeats Vercingetorix at Alesia or 1947 : independance of India).
We have also suggestions for maps or texts to be studied and explanations for each chapter : for example Stalin's USSR (2 or 3 hours) : we have to study "the birth of USSR, the buiding of a totalitarism wich impose economic collectivisation and training of man and society".

- 6e : ancient civilizations : Neolithic times (shortly : birth of agriculture and writing), Egypt, Hebrews, Greece (greek space, Homer, religion, Athens, greek art, Alexander the Great), Rome, Gallo-Roman Gaul as an example for the the romanisation, birth of christianism and barbarian invasions.
- 5e : byzantine civilization, Islam, Clovis and Charles the Great, european middle age (The Church, feodality : lords, knights and peasants, trade and medieval cities, construction of the french realm, end of the middle age), discovery of America (with a short view on amerindian civilizations), humanism and renaissance, birth of protestantisms, France in XVIth century.
- 4e : description of Europe in modern times, absolutism (Louis the XIVth) and struggle against absolutism (british revolution, enlightment in France and the Encyclopédie, birth of the USA), french revolution, Napoléon Bonaparte, age of industrie (XIXth century : birth of industry, workers, urbanization, birth of socialism/marxism and trade unions, art), birth of nationalisms in Europe (birth of Italy and Germany), France 1815-1914, Europe and the world (colonization), tensions in Europe before WWI.
- 3e : XXth century : WWI, russian revolution, Stalin's USSR, nazism and french Front Populaire as answers to world crisis, tensions in Europe before WWII, WWII, Vichy and the french Résistance, ONU, cold war (1945-death of USSR, with special view on german evolution), decolonization, economical development and crisis since 1945, France since 1945

Geography tomorrow : time to sleep :zz:




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users