Montaigne and active pedagogy

Have you ever bothered to read the Essais de Montaigne? At the very least, those on education through pedantry (chapter 24) and the institution of children (chapter 25)? Do you find this gentleman too… old school ? Possibly, since his essays were published at the end of the 16th century. But think again. Michel de Montaigne is probably the father of modern education and even, in a certain sense, of the educational renewal!

Essays, book 1, chapter 24: On pedantry

Pedantry is peculiar to the being who displays his book knowledge in a vain, arrogant and complacent way. In this regard, Montaigne clearly displays his colors by promoting knowledge that is useful rather than bookish. He hates above all pedantic knowledge (p. 204), denouncing that we only work to fill memory and leave understanding and consciousness empty (p. 208). We learn, not for life, but for school (p. 215). In other words, Montaigne claims that school knowledge is often meaningless for young people and that they are out of step with a practical application in everyday life: we must not only acquire wisdom, but also benefit from it. (p. 212).

Would knowledge-based education stifle the mind? Paradoxically, would it harm the training of students? We have to believe that the MELS skills-based approach is appropriate and that it is not such a bad idea to spell the end of the knowledge-based approach! Learning is not an end in itself, except to apply this learning in an empirical context! Nevertheless, the last years in the Quebec education world have enabled us to understand that in fact, a competency-based approach does not necessarily remove knowledge from school curricula. Quite the contrary. They must be integrated in order to serve the development of skills.To instruct not by hearsay, but by the test of action, by shaping and molding them vividly, not only of precepts and words, but   Read the rest

The stereotypes conveyed regarding the integration of iPads into teaching

This week, the Quebec guru of the integration of ICT in pedagogy published the results of his survey on the integration of iPads in schools. Indeed, Thierry Karsenti, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Technologies in Education, published The iPad at school: uses, advantages and challenges: results of a survey of 6,057 students and 302 teachers in Quebec.

Several points hold my attention, starting with the fact that the book was published last Monday and that the same day, several players in the world of education had already read it in its entirety. This demonstrates the ever-faster aspect of the snapshot. As if what could be immediate, could be more … Nevertheless, this proves that the amalgamation of digital publishing and social media has an effective and above all, efficient strike force.

The report, as such, gives ammunition to all stakeholders in the world of education; as much to the detractors of the integration of ICT in pedagogy as to technopedagogues. The best example is certainly the article that appeared in La Presse two days after the publication of the research results of the study. Journalist Michael Oliviera had the brilliant idea of ​​captioning his short article as follows: One in three students plays on their iPad in class . Failing to inform us adequately about the research of Mr. Karsenti, the journalist gives us a lesson in journalism on the art of picking up obvious information to publish it out of context in a treacherous, tendentious, demagogic and misleading way.

(…) An astonishing 99% [of the students] said they found the technological tool distracting (…)

Obviously, almost all students find the iPad distracting. This is the very principle of the tool! With its integration into teaching, we aim, among other things, to combine a student’s personal tool to make him discover the “professional”   Read the rest

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