Un bon moyen d'améliorer la réussite des élèves? Enseigner la philosophie:
There are many attempts to improve student performance which result in a host of measures, ranging from misguided to inspired. (...) But a recent endeavor in the UK found another solution which actually appeared to have worked - the students were taught philosophy!
A study published last year demonstrated that 9 to 10 year olds, who took part in a year-long series of philosophy-oriented lessons, showed significant improvement in scores over their peers in a control group. The study involved over 3000 children in 48 primary schools all around England. The kids who were taking philosophy classes improved their math and reading skills by about two months of additional progress compared to the students who didn't take the classes.
The actual aim of the classes was to improve student confidence in asking questions and constructing arguments, but the additional academic gains were undeniable.
What did the students do in these weekly hour-long classes? They talked about such concepts as knowledge, truth, justice, fairness, contemplating questions like "Should a healthy heart be donated to a person who has not looked after themselves?" or "Is it OK to deprive someone of their freedom?" They also had time set apart for silent reflection.
It's also noteworthy, that particular academic improvements were seen among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The reading skills of those who took the classes improved by 4 months, and math skills by 3 months.
There were other benefits as well.
"Feedback from teachers throughout the trial suggests that the philosophy sessions created an opportunity to engage with pupils and develop a whole school culture of thinking, listening, speaking, and using logical arguments," wrote researchers Stephen Gorard, Nadia Siddiqui, and Beng Huat See from Durham University in their paper on the study. "They claimed it also had a beneficial impact on wider outcomes such as confidence, patience and self-esteem."
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Cours de philosophie au primaire