The school in the service of knowledge

L’école au service du savoir

I remember very well my first day of class. I left the petticoats of my mother to enter a class where the professor, madame Toupin, was going little by little we learn how to live independently, by telling us the values of the time. “I braillé a shot “, as would say Georges Dor in a book controversy that I published, years later.

I also remember my first day as a high school teacher, in a school in Saint-Hyacinthe. The values had changed, and how ! The quiet Revolution we had done a good end of the path, transforming ” the relationship between its institutions with the sacred “. I had no teaching experience, just what we called at the time a patent C, which was equivalent to the rhetoric of the classical course, or 13 years of schooling, and I had the impression of entering the lions ‘ den, where I have to fight with the thirty young strangers in front of me. Back home, in the end of the day, I had braillé a shot.

Little by little, unfortunately, “the democratic values of freedom, equality and justice” that prevailed in the vast world of education since the quiet Revolution seem to have given way to values of personal growth and spiritual in the New Age, lamented the fact that Eftihia Mihelakis in the beginning of the book.

Humanize the teacher

Without claiming to be the single truth, these dialogues between four people, three women and a man, three of whom were born in the early 1980s, intend to humanize the teaching profession, which often appears to us to be erased by those who, officials, administrators and departmental staff, carry out reform after reform in an arbitrary way and try to combine acquisition of knowledge with the needs of the industry. “Where to start the education ?” asks one. During early childhood ? In adolescence ? Or adulthood ?

Learn-teach would also be twins as read-write. You cannot have one without the other, says Catherine Mavrikakis, known especially for his novels. “There is for me,” she says, a continuum evident between the learning and the transmission. “And it will have this sentence in the lacanian to explain to his teacher :” to Teach is to offer it to someone who doesn’t want something that we don’t. […] It is this mixture of desire and rejection, which enables everyone to learn. “

At the time of the confinement and the obligation to study via the Internet, solitary, Mavrikakis reminds us that teaching is a team sport. Go to class, among the students community, it is like going to the theatre, ” she said.

Jeremiah McEwen, a professor of philosophy at the college level, who asks him what is it that puts it in anger today, Eftihia Mihelakis answers : the education system of neo-liberalism, which tends to impose itself everywhere. To think that everything must be done according to the needs of the labour market. That education, ultimately, must make us good consumers, without critical thinking. This anger is also shared by McEwen, who deplores the conservatism of his colleagues, the philosophers. He admits that the professor, after a certain time, must be renewed, is leaving to take a break.

In their exchanges, it is of course a question of success. McEwen feels that he has succeeded in his teaching when his students recall his classes ten years later. Only discordant note for me : it offers a history education that would not be the promotion of the national identity. What we do is, unfortunately, not today, with the results that we know.

The following are dynamic exchanges, which do not ignore any aspect of the noble profession of teaching.

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