ERIC Number: ED337750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Changes in Systems for Teaching Children To Read: The Emergence of New Requirements for European School Education Systems. The Situation in France.
Virtually every country in Europe discovered in the late 1970s that a section of its population had serious difficulties in using written language. Examined from an historical angle, this phenomenon can be seen as part of a complicated set of factors. Urban France can be said to have been fully literate by the late eighteenth century, especially in the north. Literacy rates crossed the 90% threshold in 1888 for men and 1895 for women. It was not until the 1960s that the public became aware that French schoolchildren were taking too long to complete their compulsory schooling. The system of parallel but alien educational institutions (primary and secondary) came to an end in the 1960s as families began to demand of the schooling system more education and qualifications for their children. In 1975, a 4-year common-core curriculum to follow the 5 years of primary schooling was implemented. In addition, the school system established structures for assisting children with learning difficulties. In France technical and vocational training developed relatively late. Apprentice schools remained aloof from the educational controversies but were thrown off balance when in 1963, the common-core curriculum meant that technical and vocational education was postponed until pupils had been channeled into different forms of education. Academic failure in the 1970s was a problem at both ends of the school system: at the beginning of compulsory schooling when children had to learn how to read, and at the end when there was no way out other than early entry into apprenticeship (when it had to be admitted that not every schoolchild knew how to read). (RS)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France).
Note: Paper presented at the European Conference of Directors of Educational Research Institutions (6th, Bled, Yugoslavia, October 9-12, 1990). Conference Theme: "Literacy and Basic Education in Europe on the Eve of the 21st Century."