Values ​​in education – Educational Notebooks

International review of Sèvres education n ° 87, September 2021

This dossier 87 of the CIEP review provides a broad overview of the issue with contributions from various regions and cultural traditions: South Africa, Morocco, Bolivia, California, Bhutan, China, Vietnam, Finland, France and Hungary.

Everywhere we observe a tendency to relegate the question of finalities behind the pragmatic concern for efficiency. However, there is also a constant concern to defend, even to teach, values ​​for the sake of maintaining social cohesion, but this is observed according to Bernard Delvaux more in an “ex-post” than “ex-ante” approach.

The authors were invited to analyze the officially prescribed values, but also the debates on educational goals as well as the values ​​actually supported by schools. Various contributions clearly show that knowledge of the values ​​promoted by States does not predict those on which schools will rely to act, the real behavior of schools being subject to many influences other than that of the State.

If references to human rights, peace, the values ​​of equality and equity are most often invoked, they are not failing to be tested by certain political realities, the expansion of governments authoritarian and neoliberal economic policies.

Each country is strongly marked by the different historical moments crossed. Summarizing it is a risky business. More generally, we observe a coexistence of several value systems marked by unresolved tensions between a desire to anchor in traditions, regular attempts to restore an old order and openness to globalization. This leads Alain Boissinot, and Bernard Delvaux coordinators of the file to wonder: “Should we therefore renounce the idea that all schools in a school system contribute to transmitting a base of common values ​​avoiding excess? of individualism and the hold of the only spirit of competition? “. Alain Boissinot recalled – on the occasion of the press release of this issue – that “values ​​are a problem” ”, their transmission cannot be dogmatic, it involves the confrontation of ideas which place them as an aspiration rather than a given initially, they “rather constitute the horizon of a dialogue to be continued”. According to Bernard Delvaux, this positions the particular / universal tension differently, the universal then being seen as an “enlargement” not as the imposition of a single system of values.

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