Jean-Michel Blanquer launches 2 reforms: learning the 4 arithmetic operations from kindergarten, and a chronological literature. Proposals that are not unanimous.
Currently, division , the last arithmetic operation learned in primary, is only taught in CM1, and must be mastered to enter college. Addition and subtraction are taught between CP and CE2, and multiplication appears only at the latter level. According to Jean-Michel Blanquer’s plan, the four operations would be tackled at the same time, from kindergarten.Jean-Michel Blanquer has unveiled two new reforms to come, which are not unanimous. In an interview with L’Express , the Minister of Education says he wants to advance the math learning schedule . The addition, subtraction, multiplication … but also division, must be controlled between the CP and the CE1.
Neuroscience and Singapore Method
The minister, passionate about neurosciences, advocates the virtues of the Singapore method , which proposes to go from manipulation to abstraction, studying notions deeper and deeper, until the students master them – and which considers that addition and subtraction are linked, as well as multiplication and division, and that they must therefore be approached simultaneously .
Objective, explains Jean-Michel Blanquer : “to acquire these cognitive automatisms very young”. “One of my great convictions is that it is essential to develop a working memory very early. The plasticity of the brain is particularly strong in the early years of life. Some knowledge, if not well established from the start, will not be well mastered in the future, “he notes. He adds: “I protest against this false good-will which consists in constantly delaying apprenticeships.”
“Why charge the boat to children whose program is already heavy?”
Alice Ernoult, President of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics of Public Education (APMEP) , fears too much haste: “Children already manipulate the concepts underlying the four operations from kindergarten . If it is to master them, it takes time, “she notes on BFMTV .The statements of the minister did not fail to worry experts and unions. The SNUipp declares to the Figaro that to control division, “the child must be mature”, and that to approach it from the kindergarten would be premature. Catherine Nave-Bekhti, general secretary of Sgen-CFDT, wonders about BFMTV : “Jean-Michel Blanquer had said that he would not touch the programs. What does that mean? Should children be able to divide by leaving CE1? With or without restraint? With or without the rest? “The unionist fears in particular the risk of an accentuation of the phenomenon of school failure, due to a” densification of times and learning “, which would” never favor the greatest number ” .
Questioned also by the site of the channel, Rémi Brissiaud, researcher in cognitive psychology at the University Paris-VIII, specialist in the teaching of mathematics , considers the proposal of Jean-Michel Blanquer as “incomprehensible” and “irresponsible. For him, the stress level at CP is already great with learning to read. “Why charge the boat to children whose program is already heavy?”, He asks. According to him, “if the programs were to evolve, it would be in the direction of relief”.
Jean-Michel Blanquer also wants to introduce more chronology in literature , via a “chronological teaching”. More programs written around major themes allowing to discover authors of different centuries, but a progression by centuries. “The way in which we approach our literary heritage today in college , by grand ideas, somewhat conceptual and not by specific currents and epochs, needs to be rethought,” explains the minister.An apprenticeship in the chronological literature
In Le Figaro, Michel Lussault , president of the Conseil Supérieur des Programs ( CSP ), set up under François Hollande, is surprised “not to have been warned of these changes”. He believes that “the statements of the minister participate in a questioning questioning of the new programs”.
Asked by the Café Pédagogique , Viviane Youx, President of the Association of French Teachers ( AFEF ), notes that “it is not by beginning with the 16th century that we will succeed in creating an understanding of literature” . For the teacher , “one should not make believe that the chronology is sufficient to understand the literature “.