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François Soulard, published the 5 April 2010.

“The huge global crisis is no more than the crisis of humanity that fails to attain humanity.” - Edgar MORIN

Fruitful re-evaluations and innovative experiences multiply in France and elsewhere in the cultural and educational field. New networks and spaces for dialogue are created at regional, national and international scale with the aim of transforming education so that it may carry and accompany the mutations of the twenty-first century and lead our societies towards true paths of humanisation.

This vital objective confronts novel historical challenges:

  • The crisis of the school is part of a broader and deeper crisis of civilisation that is simultaneously expressed in the relations among societies (gap between the globalised world and the predominance of national interests), in the relations between societies and the biosphere (contradictions between the capacities to maintain its balance and our lifestyles), and finally in the relations among the human beings themselves (exclusion, disintegration of ties and interpersonal lack of understanding).
  • Related to the evolution of the systems of thought, to the visions of the world, to the institutions in charge of education, to the dynamics of transformation of the society, the education systems are factors that do not change as fast as technological revolutions.
  • The proliferation of initiatives does not necessarily guarantee an overall change if the conditions of systemic evolution are not met. Barriers between disciplines, institutional rigidities and ideological prejudices oppose and resist.

In this context, the mutualisation of initiatives is a critical need.

Faced with these challenges and to this issue, the purpose of the website “School Forging New Paths” is to weave ties between the creators of innovative ideas and practices around themes that link the evolution of knowledge and the modes of operation of the school and society. It aims to the gradual formation of a “systemic core” mutualising reflections and actions from various stakeholders in France, Europe and elsewhere. And thus raise—far from every ideological restriction—a collective understanding and look on the foundations of a humanising education in the most enlightened sense of the term.

In the field of education, this site with its important Network of Networks—which calls for other inputs—provides constructive responses, validated in the field, to the issues raised by school unrest.

School Forging New Paths. Retrospective

The twentieth century was not just misfortune and barbarities. Due in part to the need to understand the root causes, new fields of thought and knowledge have been ploughed, able to re-found a more lucid humanism and to unite intentions and actions, psychology and politics: to get out of the double illusion of wanting to change society without the persons changing or wanting the persons to change without the society changing. This is a leitmotif for the Revue de Psychologie de la Motivation whose humanistic concerns have fuelled the project of creation of this site (cf. Un patrimoine éditorial by Bruno Mattéi).

At the beginning, under conditions of intense interactivity of the Group of Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research (GRIT, for its acronym in French) founded by Jacques Robin, the Association Interactions Transformation Personnelle-Transformation Sociale (TP-TS) was created in 2001, being its “Education Commission,” co-managed by the Revue de Psychologie de la Motivation, one of the work projects. The results of such work are presented in the document Ecole: changer de cap. Contributions à une éducation humanisante.

The Commission’s objective was to draw proposals for a “humanising education” in which individual transformation and social transformation could call for and reinforce each other. Proposals that, in these particularly troubled times, could lead the school to better achieve its triple and inseparable purpose: instruct, educate, socialise.

Psychosocial Education: A Cultural Turning Point

All contributors of the work Ecole changer de cap open up foundational paths, the diversity of which shows the extent and complexity of the task. The lights and practices that they offer, and that the school disregards seriously, would indeed allow our societies to better embody the humanistic values that they are claiming for.

Their approaches, in no way exclusive, turn us towards a true psychosocial education based on understanding the basic need of human beings to develop their capabilities to learn to know, to do, to be, to live together (cf. under the direction of Jacques Delors: L’éducation. Un trésor est caché dedans, UNESCO, 1996).

Integrating the contributions of what Paul Diel, in contrast with the Physics called the Psychics, that is to say the knowledge of the inner world where our motives are worked out (our reasons for acting and our unreasons in acting), the psychosocial education is a specific bequest of our time to the culture of the future.

Antidote of inhuman behaviours (sectarian, dogmatic, violent, fanatic), it provides new and efficient tools for the development of the fundamental human capabilities of:

- lucidity, critical thinking and self-criticism,
- empathy, relationship to others without domination or alienation
- self-responsibility and co-responsibility,
- autonomy as well as fraternity,
- spirit of dialogue, cooperation and justice among individuals, groups, nations and continents.

All ethical and relational capabilities that could be cultivated, and actually “take root” in the early school years, from these underestimated and neglected technical and social skills.

La pensée complexe by Edgar Morin holds an essential place in our effort to understand the evolutions of our society, the crises that they go through, and to mark out exit routes. It allows us to better understand and respond to contemporary challenges (cf. Les sept Savoirs nécessaires pour l’éducation du Futur and his Interview with Laurence Baranski).

A particular emphasis is given to the Programme of Education for Peace and Non-Violence, extensively developed, with numerous tools, in the framework of the Education Commission of the French Coalition for the Decade of Peace and Non-Violence. The RPM and several contributors to this site have participated in its implementation.

The challenge is to open new avenues to humanism and concretely provide it with humanisation tools that can lead us, through learning and not through exhortations, to the deployment of what makes the human.

See the article: Politics and School. The Anthropological Dimension.

Site sources

  • Association and Journal of Motivation Psychology (RPM, Revue de Psychologie de la Motivation)
  • Interactions Transformation Personnelle - Transformation Sociale (TP-TS)
  • Collective “School Forging New Paths”
  • Association Traversées

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François Soulard and Armen Tarpinian



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