Pratiques de l'enseignement des sciences expérimentales et de la technologie en cycle 3 dans un milieu multiculturel : cas de la Guyane

Abstract : In the particular context of French Guiana, the sciences and technology teaching in the upper sections of French primary schools is badly failing. This is usually ascribed to "lack of time, lack of equipment or resources, lack of interest for these discipline, lack of initial training, lack of disciplinary training in French teachers’ training colleges (IUFM), lack of teaching aids". We make the hypothesis that multilingualism could also be one of the main causes of this deficiency, as many teachers assert that French and Mathematics are the necessary pre-requisites for a sound approach of experimental sciences and technology. We postulate that the investigative approach advocated in the teaching of sciences and technology can be a "tool discipline" for the acquisition of oral language skills as well as of writing and reading skills. This research focuses on teaching practices. To obtain the data, a questionnaire was circulated through all the classes of cycle 3 (upper primary school) in French Guiana. The 167 answers collected made it possible to map out the present state of science and technology teaching in French Guiana. Further clarification interviews have revealed contradictory situations accounting for the inadequacies of this teaching. On the one hand, there is an overwhelming social, political, institutional and hierarchical pressure to place French and Mathematics top of the agenda, thus introducing a major obstacle to the teaching of sciences and technology. On the other hand, primary school teachers devote about 50 % of their time and skills to classroom and pupils management. Furthermore, in their formative years, young teachers do not get proper training in educational methods aimed at promoting inclusive education. Our research shows that the versatility of primary school teachers is based on a dual system that hinges on the simultaneous tasks of teaching and educating. Observing, manipulating or experimenting, as advocated by the investigative approach increase the motivation of the pupils and participate in the institution of an “child oriented active approach” enabling pupil to come to terms with the school culture and thus become susceptible to new teachings. Science teaching therefore provides a “learning tool” for the benefit of the other subjects including French and Mathematics.
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Henri-Pierre Déliou. Pratiques de l'enseignement des sciences expérimentales et de la technologie en cycle 3 dans un milieu multiculturel : cas de la Guyane. Education. Université René Descartes - Paris V, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014PA05H026⟩. ⟨tel-01140757⟩

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