Research shake-up

June 26, 1998

Education research in France and the institute chiefly responsible face reorganisation to make it more relevant to the classroom.

Claude All gre, minister for education, last week spelt out reforms to be introduced at the Institut National de Recherche Pedagogique (INRP) from the beginning of the academic year.

Its work should stop being concerned with "philosophising about the sex of angels," he said, and should "promote and coordinate concrete research connected with schools and their teachers".

Research into education needed to be "stimulated and modernised, carried out with more rigour and coherence, be better coordinated, to focus on fieldwork, and allow innovative experiments to emerge from their present obscurity for assessment and general dissemination".

Under Mr All gre's plans, the INRP will work more closely with the ecoles normales superieures - elite state schools of higher education set up to train university and lycee teachers - in Paris and Lyons.

A new director of the INRP is to steer through the changes. He is likely to be Philippe Meirieu, professor of education at the University of Lyon II, who has just conducted a wide-ranging review of the future of the lycee for Mr All gre. INRP operates with 1,200 primary and secondary teachers, plus teams from teacher-training colleges and university research departments.

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