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Give our Schools Every Chance. Ten possible transformations

The school is on the move, signs are being given by all of the innovating forces that gather and issue appeals, proclamations, petitions for its fundamentals to be redesigned. Taboo subjects tend to crack: teacher training, the perverse effects of grading, the place of error in learning, the philosophical streak to cultivate in children... The institution follows timidly, remains cautious on the grading... does not entirely understand about the philosophy. In view of the school throes, the terrible dropouts, the violence, the desocialization, there is urgent need to understand their profound and complex causes so as to react, cure or prevent with appropriate responses validated by experience.

These proposals are ingrained in the great movement of active schools, based on cooperation, which was born in the late nineteenth century, and in an innovative way in the culture resulting from the psychosocial and psychotherapeutic research of the twentieth century. The latter, drawing meaning from personal psychological suffering, as well as from psychopathologies, even from collective barbarities that marked the century, fertilized our understanding of the human being.

The ten possible transformations, driven by these forces, would provide real indepth answers to the problems of violence, authority, and more widely to school unrest. Their application—experiences prove it—is likely to appease the classroom climate, to recover the energy and time lost to get the students’ attention. It tends to re-motivate them, to avoid boredom and loss of interest, to prevent being dragged into the spirals of failure the dramatic consequences of which we are aware of, but know too little of the intimate suffering that often marks a lifetime... + read Open Letter

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