24 November 2023

The review of reviews. Is there an education-related theme that Educational notebooks haven’t already dealt with in one of their files? The January issue of this quasi-monthly (it appears eight times a year) was devoted to “Humour at school”, the one dated February asks “Where is kindergarten going? » And, at an angle critical of the inflation of early evaluations and the official retreat to read-write-count, advocates a “true pedagogy of development” forgetting neither the game nor the socialization. The next issue, at the end of March, should focus on classroom management, the next on how to “Learn with nature”.

This abundance goes back a long way: the first issue dates from December 1945. Under the title Pedagogical files for secondary educationthe journal, renamed its present name in 1948, was a liaison organ for “new classes”. This name designated an educational experiment directed by Gustave Monod, director of secondary education and protagonist of the Langevin-Wallon plan (1947), a great reference on the left in education.

THE Educational notebooks subsequently became, and remain today, the expression of the Circle of Educational Research and Action, an associative structure whose motto appears on the cover: “Change the school to change the society, change the society to change the school. »

Threat to the sustainability of the publication

However, it is not directly political debates that inspire the content, but rather, on each issue, the way in which it fits into the life of classes and teams, illustrated by contributions from teachers in the field. Apart from certain contributions from academics, the Educational notebooks are designed by teachers addressing their peers, all of which are defined as “reflective practitioners”.

The publication, reports its editor-in-chief, Cécile Blanchard, has been “Hardly tested by periods of confinement, despite a peak in website traffic”, due in particular to the decline in subscriptions to information and documentation centers in educational establishments, which remain its main source of funding. Added to this is the reduction in the ministerial subsidy, which, from approximately 20% of resources in 2020, has fallen to 15%, the difficulties common to all the journals, with the increase in costs, but also the departure retirement of a militant generation, the ambient lassitude of the teaching staff, the rightwing of opinion on education… This accumulation poses a threat to the sustainability of the journal, which had to lay off, in 2022, three out of six collaborators .

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