Subproject B

Céline Darnon, Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand

Selection, education, and the achievement of underprivileged groups in the educational system

Academic structures should encourage good teaching and the use of optimal practices for all students. However, the selection process implies that only some students are allowed to pursue and succeed in the system. This issue illustrates the paradox with which teachers have to deal everyday. On the one hand, their role is to teach and train students as well as they can. But on the other hand, the structure to which they belong (the educational system) requires them to select, among their pupils and students, those who have the best chances to succeed in society. In such a system, attaining competence implies a struggle for competence in the sense that being competent is not enough: the other students should not be competent, or should be “less competent”. The goal of the present research program will be to test whether the function of selection can contribute to create suboptimal motivational and learning conditions and participate in the reproduction of social inequalities by acting in favour of higher status students. Thus, the present project will mainly focus on the articulation of the ideological and the positional levels of analysis.

The full project can be obtained by contacting Céline Darnon.


Maria-Cristina Aelenei