For several years now, by many successive notes, I have considered the question of what I have decided to name now only “higher education”. This little oratorical precaution is really meaningful, since it forms the basis of the whole of my reasoning set out below. I am not saying “education”, I am not saying “education”, I am not saying “education”, but I say “study”, reserving for myself the task of distinguishing knowledge and skills, Focuses on a very essential idea, namely that, as far as the transmission function is concerned, the question of the university (in the broad sense) is not to teach (for teachers), but to learn , for students.
Historically, professors, preparers, teachers, teacher-researchers, lecturers, etc. Were at the center of the academic system, and the university had a somewhat artisanal and somewhat tinkered way of ensuring a group of missions, sometimes very disparate, where the study of “confirmed” researchers Was essential. There was a way of paying some “professors” who could do their research, while perpetuating the knowledge produced.
For the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) the university is
“An association of men … endowed and privileged by the State, so that the people can receive intellectual formation and that the theoretical problems which arise during the development of civilization can be solved”.
The considerable increase in the number of students in recent decades has led to dead ends and, above all, to the now clear need to renovate the university system as a whole.
Let us begin by observing that, in spite of some modes (“reverse pedagogy”, etc.), teachers have for many wanted to “teach”: what had become the name of their profession defined their mission, and these people Consciousness, donned the clothes that had been stretched out to them.
It is understandable that individuals who are at the forefront of research have been selected for the faculty. This is the guarantee that the knowledge provided will not be out of date, that it will be constantly renovated. However, the question is not to put a scientist in an amphitheater in front of groups of students more or less numerous, more or less attentive. This is the means, but only the objective: that students study, that they learn, that they obtain knowledge and skills … perennial and useful.
Knowledge or skills
With many other tickets, I showed what everyone knows, that the notions learned in the first year of license are often forgotten in the third year for the majority of students. (The proof is that I have it with the majority of the students who come to the seminary and who, confidently, admit it, and often it is not the years that are the point of forgetting but The particular partial where these acquisitions are tested.) What good is it to have learned, then? It is also known that too often students – and perhaps ourselves – are limited to knowledge rather than skills. What’s the point ? We know that our amphitheatres contain a proportion of students who also come – or do not come from elsewhere – to socialize.
Why not, but I have an idea of the university that is better than what it supports today, due to the massification of higher education. And I believe that part of the ills of the university stems from the fact that students are not at the center of the system because they want to “teach” and in so doing give too much weight to ” Teachers “.
I maintain absolutely that the issue is not teaching teachers, but learning for students, and I absolutely disagree with the terminology of “teacher-researcher”, therefore, recalling that the participles present are Most often linguistic inegances: teacher, learner, knowing, actant, doing …
I propose very forcefully to return to the term “professor,” which, etymologically, means “who speaks before”. Who speaks to say what? This is the right question, to which I propose to reply by the aphorism of our good Jean de la Fontaine: “In all things we must consider the end”. And for students, the end, these are skills that will give them a job, these skills that will make them “capable” good people, good citizens, concerned about the collective good, national, international, because they will be good Professional, responsible.
However, it is less a question of criticism than of making an observation. For example, students have to confide their future to the university, to professors, which I think is a great carelessness, given the way we respond to their requests; It is also a laziness on their part, because they would rather take their destiny in their own hands, instead of resting only on the university.
The solution ? We must put students in a position of responsibility, and put an end to the class-like game of opposing good students and bastards of professors, lazy students and virtuous teachers, depending on where we are in find.
Students must learn, teachers teach