Extract me it seems particularly interesting from an article by François Dubet, ” Why does it not sociologists ? “, Education and societies, 2002, n°9 about the question nagging ” The level to decrease? “, ” The students are they less good “. François Dubet reminds us that we need to pay attention to the a-priori and the speed of the conclusion.
“When scientific measurements and historical comparisons to support you explain to an audience of teachers that the level of the students has not declined, in general a part of the audience is restless, grommèle and protested in front of the statement however, supported by simple facts : 50% of a cohort obtained the primary school certificate in 1950, while 65% earned a bachelor’s degree in 2000; or, again, the rate of high school graduates of the early 1960s was only slightly higher than that of students in the preparatory class today… However, if most of the teachers are resistant to facts that are as strong, is that from the point of view where they are placed in the system, the level has dropped, although one of the students mounts in general. The teacher of a class of second receiving 20% of the best students of an age group in 1975 and today welcomes more than 50%, saw that all these new students was lower than that he received previously. The fact that these new students are far better than their elders that there were simply not second, can’t convince him because he sees clearly getting weaker students and did not budge. He believes what he sees, and for him, the level to decrease objectively. The same general phenomenon of slip explains the feeling of falling of the level observed in the oldest teachers colleges, professional high schools. While they have long received the elite of the students of the working class, they now host the weak students, those who were not educated beyond elementary school, their former students to be “mounted” to the latter general that they have “lowered” the level. Also are they justified in saying that if the general level of a class of age is high, this is certainly not the case of every one of their students “
Still in the same article, Dubet presents another point on which the teachers do not believe in the sociologists : the virtues of repetition.
“The teachers believe in the virtues of repetition, while the studies on this issue tend to demonstrate the contrary (Paul 1996). Again, the opinions of the professors appear to be rational because, in most cases, the student repeating a grade will be a little better during his one-year repetition. The virtue of the repetition thus seems to impose itself as a mixture of observation and good sense as comparing the same student in the same class. The researcher proceeds quite differently in comparing two students ‘”theoretical” identical one has stepped up, the other does not, it shows that the second is better than the first, not to mention the stigmatization effect of the repetition. The investigator has clear reason, but the actor, himself, did not wrong not to believe me because he could see ” his “stepping forward so that he can compare it to nothing, and in particular the progress made if he had not stepped up. “