CONSCIOUSNESS OF A CHALLENGE, OF A NEED… AND SKETCHING OUT A HOPE!
At the moment, on this Sunday in France, on TV, we are watching Heads of State and representatives as well as an immense crowd of people gathered for a walk in the name of freedom of expression, this right, which for each of them is at the basis of democracy and universal values. The liberty and values associated to it are fundamental; there can be any doubt. What is observed is some sort of recollection in solidarity to France, but also of everyone towards others, as if we were all feeling suddenly threatened. Is this a temporary awareness? Is this a political opportunity for some? Or is this rather the start of the desired elevation of a collective consciousness for a better world?
I am reading the denunciations of violence, reflections marked by humanism, here and there, calls to a reconciliation among people, to a new world vision and sometimes, some of us point to a new role for school – as well as its failures – both in France and around the world. Philippe Meirieu mentioned it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcYVG3ZsPjw&app=desktop and Serge Bouchard as well http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/c_est_pas_trop_tot/2014-2015/chronique.asp?idChronique=359390.
Could one of the ideas to retain be a commitment for an inclusive educative school sensitive to differences and truly at work to better respond to the needs of every student? All of this to avoid that feelings of deep injustice and of exclusion revealing and increasing anger, hatred and desire to act in a mad and dehumanizing manner be widened in our hearts.
RELEVANCE OF A RENEWED SCHOOL
It is mentioned on every forum: school has to be modernized. It must move from the defense of industrial interests and its old stereotypes to the promotion of fundamental human values and the education of autonomous citizens with a finely tuned critical mind. But things are moving very slowly, many of them favouring immobilism. When we take a step back, the recent events experienced in Paris encourage the implementation of a renewed school that must contribute to change things, one student at a time, one class at a time, one neighbourhood at a time. A school fostering an enthusiastic regard towards diversity, because it is its greatest richness. A school that will enable each student, regardless of his origin, regardless of his environment, regardless of his difficulties, to fully develop his potential to participate positively to the equilibrium of his community, his country and his world.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO SEE EVEN BETTER THE NEEDS OF EACH STUDENT IN SCHOOL?
The best determination and commitment of a single person, of a single educator in school to perceive each of the difficulties or sufferings of each student in a classroom is important. Getting to respond to them competently, even with the greatest generosity, is indeed praiseworthy. However, to this is added a high risk of professional exhaustion. In any case, such challenges have become today unrealistic for an educator alone. Nor was it realistic yesterday for school to play alone the role of a sighted educator and to intervene by itself, despite the fact that challenges seemed much less complex back then. The creation of new links, organized and structuring, between school and its community is absolutely indispensable. The contributions of partners located around the school and the manner of uniting strengths in order to better educate are the source of a promising solution that, according to me, could literally lead to the success of compelling changes (educational, social, etc.) within school communities and within nations. There lie the keys of a new hope.
A SYNERGY BETWEEN THE SCHOOL AND ITS SURROUNDING COMMUNITY (living neighbourhood)
An architecture allying “school” and “community” (the neighbourhood) turns out to be of a great relevance. Without too many words, I simply invite each and everyone to look at and engage in a reflection for the emergence of the structure of a “school-community” system. In short, to collectively put our shoulders to the wheel in order to conceive, create and bring up an educational community for each school; and that a harmonious “living together” be set up and that feelings of self-pride, zest for life, security and inner peace grow up in the mind of people, from the earliest age of primary school. There was, there is and there will (always) be a need for “a whole village to raise a child”
School has the responsibility to bear a global education; let us challenge this foolish obsession that constrained it uniquely to give “glorious” academic results. Otherwise we are jeopardizing thousands of students as well as our societies. Alone, the educator and the school cannot achieve this. A new alliance between the school and its community is to be built. The state must support this process. So that each school be a place of encounters and fulfilment of diversity, where dialogue will remove the barriers of our differences to replace them with bridges of awareness that build understanding and respect. It seems to me that this is urgent!
Each and everyone in solidarity towards equality, inclusion and justice… and the freedom of expression and creation in order to flourish. Better tomorrows for everyone are depending on this!