Conseil supérieur de l'éducation
Organizing Academic Time DIFFERENTLY. A Responsibility of Secondary Schools

In a brief released in early April at the Université du Québec à Hull, the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation proposes organizing academic time differently at the secondary level in order to better meet students’ learning needs, teachers’ training requirements and the need for collaboration among members of the teaching staff.

The Conseil notes that, over the years, the timetable had been shaped more by administrative concerns than by educational considerations. Those most affected by the organization of time, namely teachers and school administrators, do not view it as an educational resource and fail to make use of the leeway inherent in the Basic School Regulation.

"The power to organize school time largely belongs to the schools and it is crucial that they realize this, since it is a decisive factor in educational success", stated Conseil supérieur de l'éducation President Céline Saint-Pierre. In its brief, the Conseil points to the emergence of initiatives to structure school time differently in Québec secondary schools. However, it notes that these innovative projects too often tend to be limited in scope and to involve only a minority of students and teachers.


Taking control of school time

In the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation’s view, the implementation of the education reform provides a good opportunity for schools to take control of school time. Consequently, it appeals to schools’ ability to take charge and innovate in order to promote genuine change. It asks school administrators to begin deliberations on organizing school time in conjunction with their school team and governing board. Teachers should be involved in defining school time increasingly along educational lines, in the decision-making process and in coming up with solutions for structuring time.

The Conseil hopes that all secondary schools will carry out this change at a pace reflecting their own specific environment and culture. To begin with, it asks school teams to unblock at least 20% of the yearly teaching time and reallocate it to interdisciplinary projects that are meaningful to the students.

The Conseil also asks the Minister of Education to consider the organization of school time as a key factor in students’ educational success and as an indicator linked to implementation of the reform. It encourages him to support pilot projects in secondary schools that have restructured school time in order to improve learning conditions for all students.

Panorama • Volume 6, Numéro 2 • May 2001

Document complet - in French (PDF)
Abridged Version (PDF)


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