21 mai 2016

La philosophie est bénéfique à la réussite


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." 

À lire également:
Cours de philosophie au primaire



3 commentaires:

PJ a dit…

Honnêtement, je n'aime pas quand on traduit une taille d'effet en "mois d'instruction". C'est bien beau d'essayer d'interpréter des statistiques dans un contexte plus "concret", mais c'est une extrapolation sur des chiffres qui ne représente pas la réalité. Le groupe de traitement a amélioré ses notes par rapport au groupe témoin, that's it. Des mois d'instructions, ce n'est pas une mesure standard, et ça suppose un progrès "constant", alors que la vitesse d'apprentissage varie d'un sujet, d'une personne (du côté de l'instructeur et des élèves) et d'un âge à l'autre.

Prof Solitaire a dit…

Merci de le souligner. J'ai un préjugé favorable à l'enseignement de la philosophie aux enfants, alors je ne me suis pas arrêté à questionner la méthode...

PJ a dit…

Je suis pour itou, mais j'haïs les mauvaises interprétations et utilisations des statistiques. Ici c'est surtout une question d'interprétation, mais il faut aussi toujours vérifier les méthodes d'échantillonnage et d'analyse utilisées.