The professional practices of teachers, who practice in a multicultural environment, are questioned in an interdisciplinary approach.

Innovating to learn differently

The proposed collaborative action-research aims to:

  1. identify needs in institutions
  2. observe professional knowledge
  3. support teachers in an innovation process
  4. allow students to learn differently.

Adapting to the diversity of students in the classroom is one of the criteria of professional efficiency and high educational added value. In order to adapt, a teacher must be multi-skilled, innovate and keep abreast of developments in educational research. During the successive reforms of the school curricula, the development of computer technology, multimedia, project work, the cognitive process of the child and the teenager has gained importance in the learning process in the organization of the teachings. An individual in modern society faces increasingly complex problems that must be reflected in teaching. Addressing the problem situations must suggest a new type of approach in all the disciplinary matrices of the education system. Today, people who incorporate a wide range of disciplinary approaches into their actions can ask creative questions and are trained to answer these questions with a great variety of tools. All this is not necessarily self-evident when, within the same class, students have a different culture and family environment. For the teacher, this requires a unique pedagogical approach while for the students, it is tantamount to mobilizing a set of skills that enables them to explore problems, to observe and critically evaluate information, to move forward individually and collectively, and effectively communicate the subsequent thoughts and reasoning.

Our research focuses on the effects that implementing innovative pedagogical situations can have on:

  • the development of teachers’ professional skills;
  • the development of students’ social, emotional and cognitive skills.

More broadly, what is the impact on educational success?

Innovating with digital technology

This component aims to study digital uses in the context of an active and open pedagogy that promotes educational success and skills development.

Today, the great development of information and communication technologies is having an impact on the information and knowledge acquisition processes and on the students’ behavior towards appropriation and production content. The “digital natives” students and students are increasingly used to having fast answers or to quickly obtaining information, to doing several things at once, to accessing content in a random way (in the mode of hypertext navigation) rather than in a linear and structured way, to being permanently connected to the network, to creating content collectively and not individually, to engaging playful rather than serious activities and to obtaining instant rewards. In this context, their teachers often feel at odds with their students when it comes to ensuring digital literacy and when in loss of control in a world characterized by the abundance of information and the incessant generation of new contents. Moreover, as regards New Caledonia where the public speaking of students is particularly difficult according to the socio-cultural environment from which they come, digital education could prove particularly useful for improving the necessary interaction between the teacher and the learner. The development of educational strategies for the use of digital technology can contribute to developing the motivation of New Caledonian students, as an aid to the fight against school truancy and dropout.

Thus, the projects focus on: a) supporting teachers in the development of digital teaching practices so that they remain “connected” with their student audience b) contributing to the design of new teaching methods that capture students’ attention and punctuate learning while promoting the development of their critical thinking.

Languages, cultural Pacific knowledge in professional practices

For several years, New Caledonia’s education system has been engaged in a process that should allow the development of a school reflecting the cultural diversity of the population of New Caledonia. The phenomenon of plurilingualism is one of the key issues in New Caledonia. The fact that a student masters and uses several languages is usually perceived as a positive element in his or her education. However, in New Caledonia, despite the publication of works proving the opposite, the cohabitation of several languages is often considered as a factor conducive to the development of academic difficulties – one of the most acute symptoms is the importance of illiteracy. Therefore, the definition of relevant and adapted teaching contents, which contributes to a peaceful coexistence of all languages within the school and allows a better control of the different languages spoken in New Caledonia are projects that we will support. Supporting the evolution of the school curricula and the learning of traditional knowledge (formal and non-formal) is just as important. The will to define curricula and teaching contents specific to New Caledonia has probably not yet led to a form of education that reflects the diversity of cultural identity while maintaining a high level of requirements and qualifications. One of the main obstacles remains the capacity to transform traditional knowledge—which is intended to be transmitted in a family and / or customary setting, sometimes in initiatory terms—into educational contents that could be beneficial to pupils.

One goal is to prepare the evolution of teaching contents via a program engineering that better meets the needs of New Caledonian society. The Language Resource Center (CRL) of ESPE offers various training courses at the crossroads of educational, linguistic and digital policies. As a language laboratory and a valuable place of experimentations, the CRL is a device which is also dedicated to research. The analysis of the collected data will allow the team to study the behaviors, evolutions and specific language needs ​​in a Pacific context.