[Chronique de Normand Baillargeon] Summer readings

The school year is coming to an end and this time I want to offer you two lectures that I think are very enriching and that anyone who works in education or is interested in the subject should read – that includes everyone, I think, and I hope…

Explicit Education

Clermont Gauthier, Steve Bissonnette, and Marie Bocquillon provide us with a rich and scholarly work that should be required reading for educational researchers and practicing teachers alike.

Theoretical and practical questions about explicit education (Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2022) consists of two parts. The first, theoretical, offers a critique of the ideas received in education; the second is about practicalities.

This book, part of the increasingly heard call for evidence, will certainly be discussed. I’m sure it will also publicize a lot of work (and their practical implications) that we can only regret not being better known and applied.

The introduction sets the tone and clearly indicates the positioning of the authors – and I take the liberty of quoting them at length: [La recherche] has continued to progress over the past 40 years, and we now have empirical research findings that are increasingly robust and cover the different facets of the teaching profession. Contemporary educational research is based on what teachers do in the classroom; it attempts to identify teachers’ practices or strategies associated with student learning. It also teaches us that when we give ourselves the tools, through experimental protocols, to rigorously observe and measure what happens in the classroom, effective strategies emerge more clearly. So instead of relying on preconceived ideas, on the fantasy of pseudo-miracle pedagogical approaches, we decided to pass everything through the critical filter of empirical research. †

In the first part, we will mainly learn about the effects of technologies and virtual education (a hot topic), the introduction of evidence into teacher education and learning communities.

There is a delightful chapter devoted to the overly denigrated importance of teacher training tips and recipes.

“Even when teachers need tricks and recipes to function, and research can provide them with strict protocols, these tools are constantly being devalued. Some academics are sounding the alarm about the perceived dangers of instrumental rationality in teaching, in fact undermining what ultimately harms practicing teachers and especially those in initial training. †

“It’s time, say the authors, to rehabilitate the use of prescriptions in education! †

The second part of the book gives precise ways of doing things, and even tips and recipes, and teachers will love what there is. It discusses the importance of feedback, the consolidation of learning through practice, the fight against indiscipline by teaching explicit behavior, and even university pedagogy.

An example of these fascinating things we discover there? The importance and effectiveness of spaced practice for learning and revising and this handy trick called “Leitner’s box” for putting it into practice – I’ll let you discover it. It can be done alone at home, in pairs, and even in the classroom.

As a bonus in the summer issue of National Action Reading Notebookswe find an extensive interview provided by Steve Bissonnette to Frédéric Morneau-Guérin, who will prepare you to read this essential work.

Visions of Education in Quebec in the 19th and 20th Centuries

We now turn to another, but equally rich, record: that of history with educational thinking and intellectuals in Quebec. Intellectuals born between 1850 and 1900 (PUL, 2021). Since evidence is important, it is also essential to know history, philosophy, sociology and educational policy.

Here, the numerous authors of this collective led by Olivier Lemieux, Jean-François Cardin and Denis Simard introduce us to the ideas of education of 12 thinkers from Quebec, born between 1850 and 1900. How did they come up with this idea? What vision of knowledge, of people, of the economy and society inspired them?

The chapters are mainly devoted to Lionel Groulx, Brother Marie-Victorin, Léon Guérin and some other well-known figures. But we are also dealing with people I knew little or nothing about, such as Joséphine Marchand-Dandurand, Laure Gaudreault or Godfroy Langlois.

An exciting read!

See you on Sept 3rd. Until then, I wish you a wonderful summer, rest and lots of reading pleasure.

To be seen in video

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