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Baccalaureate, philosophy keeps its place apart

Essay or commentary? This remains the choice left to the candidates of the general and technological paths, which make up this Thursday, June 17 in philosophy. Like French and oral, this discipline is a survivor in this 2021 session supposed to complete the reform of the high school, but lightened because of the health crisis.

→ READ. Very relaxed rules for the 2021 baccalaureate

In the longer term, philosophy sees its place consolidated in the new architecture. Unlike mathematics, it remains in the common core, even if its schedules have changed, with 4 hours per week for all in terminal in the general route (against previously 8 hours in series L, 4 hours in ES and 3 hours in S).

In specialty from the first

In addition, it is now possible to tackle this subject from the first with a specialty course “Humanities, literature, philosophy” (HLP) in which teachers of philosophy and French intervene. Last year, 18% of first year students took it, although many then kept their two other specialties for the final year.

“The discovery of philosophy, in HLP, led me to review my study projects”, testifies Claire. In final year at the Provence Catholic high school in Marseille, she first imagined herself as a doctor but now aims for a literary preparation and then the École normale supérieure. “It brought me more ‘wisdom'”, she confides, aware of the incongruous effect of the word in the mouth of a teenager.

For Claire Fortassin, teacher and head of Snes in a high school in Seine-Saint-Denis, the purpose of this teaching is twofold. “Prepare for a demanding bac test, mobilizing knowledge, analytical skills, argumentation, problematization, and, in doing so, give young people useful reflection tools in their lives. At 17 or 18, it is essential to wonder about happiness or politics. “

Critical mind

“From now on, our teaching is based less on the history of philosophy, more on the exercise of critical thinking, with a program refocused on questions related to society”, greet Valérie Dufayet, teacher at the Lycée Provence. “Without neglecting the reading of texts which may seem difficult, this discipline provides the opportunity for a dialogue built with oneself and with others”, prolongs the dean of the general inspectorate Frank Burbage.

→ INVESTIGATION. Notes at school, do we have to change everything?

Philosophy must also make it possible to link the lessons discussed throughout their schooling. “In class, we have built bridges to science or, through the theme of freedom, to geopolitics, one of my specialties”, rejoices Léonard, another Marseille candidate.


The 2021 bac

Only three disciplines passed in the final exams in the general and technological routes:

• Philosophy, Thursday, June 17 (the candidate will be able to keep his average for the year if it is higher than the mark for the test).

• The grand oral, from June 21 to July 2.

• The anticipated French test at the end of the first, with the written exam scheduled for June 17th.

• Specialty tests have been replaced by continuous assessment.


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