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French high school reform: students' perspectives and strategies

Grant number: 21/10659-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education
Principal researcher:Débora Cristina Goulart
Grantee:Débora Cristina Goulart
Host: Christian Laval
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (Paris 10), France  


Since the 1980s, the French educational system has been strained by the double movement of massification, with increasing access to the baccalauréat (Bac) and a deepening of career selectivity. With a history of stratification and fragmentation, the baccalauréat reform that began in 2019 contains three axes of change: curriculum flexibility with individualization of training paths, change in the composition of baccalauréat grades and replacement of the old application platform for admission in higher education, the APB (Admissions post-bac) by Parcoursup. The part of the reform aimed directly at French high schools, called high school reform, has as its central elements, the flexibility of the curriculum with the individualization of paths, constant evaluation with the change of Bac and the increase in professional guidance. The reform is analyzed based on studies on the expansion of commodification and the introduction of quasi-market mechanisms and the new public management in the French educational system.Faced with a vast reform that changes the institutional dynamics and mobilizes different sectors of French society, this research has as its central problem to know what are the perspectives and strategies of students in face of the reform of the secondary school.We adopted as a method of analysis the mesoapproach relating different spheres of educational policy implementation, with the adoption of participant observation in two high schools in different social contexts and semi-structured interviews with a sample of students guided by sociocultural, gender and social origin criteria. (AU)

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