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Colloque 2019 : Conditions de réussite des réformes en éducation

12-14 juin 2019, CIEP
The conditions for successful education reforms (12–14 June 2019, CIEP)

The Revue Internationale d’Education de Sèvres will organize, from 12 to 14 June 2019, an international symposium entitled "The Conditions for Successful Educational Reforms".
The symposium will bring together around sixty high-level speakers, ministers and former ministers of education, researchers and academies, as well as trainers and education officials from 30 countries.
At the heart of this symposium is an essential question: what is meant by the success of an education system, and why do some education systems do better than others? Can we identify a number of conditions that are essential if a reform is to hope to effectively and positively transform a country's education system?
The aspiration of the symposium is to highlight a number of useful levers for action, taking into account different registers: political decision-making, the various educational actors in charge of implementation, as well as evaluation and research.
The symposium will bring together around sixty high-level speakers, ministers and former ministers of education, researchers and academies, as well as trainers and education officials from more than twenty countries.
It will be open by invitation to 120 French and foreign participants. The case studies and the conference bibliography are available online.
Follow the symposium on CIEP’s YouTube channel:

  • Présentation


    Workshop 1. Delivering reforms: Acceptability and mobilizations
    Edited by José WEINSTEIN

    Decision-makers and researchers are now more attentive to the conditions for carrying out educational reforms, which in addition to being relevant and coherent require the support of numerous and varied social actors to move from concept to application. This workshop aims to highlight the importance of these actors, who, depending on whether they are mobilized or circumvented, can often determine the success or failure of a reform.
    It is obviously not possible in this context to take into account all the forces that can play a role in the design and implementation of education reforms. Here our focus will be trade unions, which have played an important role in two reforms in two countries, Canada (specifically Ontario) and Mexico. Among the questions posed by their intervention, we will consider how they were or were not associated with the reform, what was their understanding of it, how and in what direction they attempted or succeeded in amending the reforms, what mobilizations they carried out, and how they supported or on the contrary opposed the government action. The other two cases will focus on the broader social structures and forces that constitute the breeding ground for reform. They will discuss the academic success of girls, whose long-term mobilizations in France around the emancipation of women have helped to give substance to reforms enacted long ago. In the case of some African countries, on the other hand, cultures and family traditions seem to hinder the implementation of voluntarist decisions concerning their schooling and their success.


    Workshop 2. New insights on the implementation of education policies
    Edited by Bénédicte ROBERT

    Implementation of educational policies is both an old and a recent issue. As early as the 1960s, but especially in the 1970s, American researchers looked into the effectiveness of proactive public policies ("Head Start", busing ...) and questioned the dominant paradigm of a decision that would be made and implemented as adopted by Congress. Drawing on the concepts of the sociology of organizations and the sociology of public action, they emphasize the role of social interactions, limits to implementation, but also questions of resources and capacity-building. Around the concepts of "backward mapping", "translation" and "reinterpretation", their analyzes of public policies lead them to examine governance issues, notably through the study of policy instruments: legislative and regulatory instruments, fiscal and budgetary instruments, incentives. These analyzes find extensions in contemporary approaches around the concept of "learning from the middle" and "collaborative professionalism" and have a particular influence on the educational policy of regions / countries such as Ontario, New Zealand, India or Chile, while remaining quite unknown in many countries, including France. The economics of education and behavioral sciences have recently made an additional contribution with research findings that can easily be translated into public policy. Social experimentations (in particular through randomized control trials) combine a proactive and well-identified public policy intervention and an impact study. A research hypothesis is tested in context to measure its effectiveness considering the constraints of implementation. "Scaling up" raises other challenges, but this type of approach allows the development of policies based on strong scientific evidence.
    Older, but increasingly prevalent in public policy, behavioral sciences makes it possible to study how the recipients of public policies behave according to the nature of politics and its presentation, thus opening the door for more fine-tuned public policies. The objective of this workshop is to provide a succinct state of the art on the success factors in the implementation of reforms, and to highlight examples of transfer of these principles in the field of education policies.


    Workshop 3. The role of funding in the failure or success of education reforms
    Edited by Thierry CHEVAILLIER

    Funding issues play a central role in the design and evaluation of reforms: they can be the object of reform and/or considered as conditions for implementing reform. The case studies will consider the different situations encountered, examining the effects on the chain of actions comprising the implementation process, on the behaviour of actors, and on the results of reform (in terms of efficiency and equity). Particular attention will be paid to the following aspects: the transfer of certain burdens to certain actors; resources from external funding sources and related constraints; the transfer of resources from certain items to others; the reduction or, on the contrary, increase in the resources allocated; the share of resources allocated to innovation; the overshooting or on the contrary non-use of certain resources during the implementation of reform.


    Workshop 4. Reforming school for more equitable access to education
    Edited by Jacques MARCHAND and Hughes MOUSSY

    Mass access to general education (especially secondary education) is the result of strong social demand. The public policies that accompany and encourage this process generally include reforms and adaptations of education systems to accommodate new paradigms in the context of limited resources. These reforms make it possible to adapt the education system to local realities and to take charge of specific issues (such as reducing supply disparities, preventing school dropout, integrating migrants, educating ethnic minorities). These policies and reforms structure a new systemic approach to educational provision covering a wide range of areas, such as the organization of schools, infrastructure and equipment, the adaptation of curricula and the organization of teaching, training and supervision of teachers, and territorial and participative management.
    The workshop will consider some examples of policies and reforms in a wide variety of contexts aimed at broadening access to more inclusive education, usually based on a territorial form of education management involving the participation of a variety of actors:
    - local colleges in Côte d’Ivoire (reform of the standard model for colleges, the organization of teaching into disciplinary blocks, and training and management of teachers);
    - the implementation of the Educational Prosperity model for the schooling of low-income populations (illustrated with the example of the Inuit people in Canada);
    - the integration of migrant populations into education systems, for example in Spain (Catalonia);
    - non formal education in Morocco.
    Through the comparison of these experiences of education reforms, and the analysis of their successes and difficulties, the workshop will attempt to identify their conditions of success.


    Workshop 5. Education reforms in search of quality
    Edited by Roger-François GAUTHIER

    Quality is a word that is not historically part of the language of schools. Yet we see many countries that care about it and emphasize it in their reforms. In doing so they move in very different directions, although ones which often mix:
    - Some countries speak of quality, but quality essentially defined by student results, at the central level or at the school level. But is that really quality? And what do we mean by “results”?
    - Others think that quality is really about children, their well-being at school, their well-being to learn. But is quality measured in this way not in turn a little too far removed from the concern for learning outcomes?
    - More and more countries think that the quality of schools hinges primarily on the relevance and coherence of what is taught to students, and this leads to curriculum policies. But is this the right path? Is a school that is more meaningful for students an appropriate idea for effective reform?
    - In a number of cases, the concern for quality extends to labelling procedures, through which schools begin to move closer to other services. But is this type of design suited to the complex mission of education?
    The workshop will explore two directions: the search for quality through instrumented measures (curricula, standards) or by considering the question of meaning – the quality of schools as a place of teaching/ curricular issues.


    Workshop 6. Efficiency and governance: Complex interconnections?
    Edited by Jean-Pierre Véran

    Efficiency is measured by the ratio of observed effects to expected effects. According to Willy Brandt (G20, 1995), governance is “a continuous process of cooperation and accommodation between diverse and conflicting interests”. Beyond this generic definition, different forms that shed light upon the “composite” character of education governance can be distinguished, depending on:
    - whether governance is based essentially on the allocation of resources (instrumental), consultation mechanisms (procedural), or an educational ethic (ethics);
    - whether it favours top-down, bottom-up or horizontal relations between actors, or ones that alternate at different stages of the reform process;
    - whether it aims, at the different scales of actors, for compliance with what already exists or innovation.
    From there, the workshop will examine the type(s) of governance best able to advance the effectiveness of an education system at different scales, depending on the political and cultural context of the territory observed. It will thus shed light upon the complex interconnections between efficiency and governance. The diversity of case studies will highlight in particular the positive, zero or negative impact of the following on the effectiveness of reform: the preferred links between the actors; the professional development of local actors and the independence conferred to them; the level targeted by the reform (national, territorial, local); the choice of those who identify the expected objectives and those who measure the observed effects.

  • Attachments