Life Style

Duplication of classes, positive results without being spectacular

It is an emblematic measure of the Blanquer era, struck at the corner of social and educational equity. The duplication of classes is the subject of a long study published at the end of September by the Department of Evaluation, Foresight and Performance (Depp).

In this “working document”, which has nearly 170 pages, the statistics department of the ministry is working to identify the effects of this measure, which was gradually introduced from 2017 to the first and second units of the priority education networks, starting with the reinforced networks (Rep +).

→ READ. The virtues of split CP

To do this, the Depp compared the results of students in these split classes with those of other students with similar social and academic characteristics, but hosted outside the Rep +.

An effect“Meets expectations in mathematics”

What are the conclusions? The study shows that grade repetition has an overall positive, but not necessarily spectacular, impact on student performance. Its contribution seems in any case contrasted according to the disciplines. “The effect seems a little weak in French but in line with expectations in mathematics”, note the authors.

In French, at the end of CE1, the students of Rep + obtain a test success rate almost similar to that of the other group studied (41.6% against 42.1%). The gap, which was 1.4 points at the start of CP, has narrowed to 0.5 point.

On the other hand, the benefit is greater in mathematics. The two groups show the same success rate at the start of CP (28.8%). But we observe at the end of CE1 a clear increase, in particular in the split classes of Rep + (45.7% against 43.9%).

In this case, it is the most vulnerable students in education who progress the most and who, according to the Depp, benefit the most from the reduction in enrollment. Another lesson: in French as in math, most of the progression in split classes occurs during the year of CP.

A marked improvement in the school climate

In any case, the Depp study reveals a very positive feeling for teachers who teach in split classes. These testify to a marked improvement in the school climate, likely to influence the quality of learning.

→ INVESTIGATION. Teachers challenged by more heterogeneous classes than ever

The small size of the groups also makes it possible to set up a pedagogical differentiation which can allow each pupil to progress, whatever their strengths and weaknesses.

The teachers surveyed also say they have a better sense of effectiveness. An element that is not trivial, when we know the discomfort that undermines the teaching staff and weighs on the attractiveness of the profession.


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