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The pedagogical project

The educational project of the Lycée d'Adultes is rooted in its history (the archives date from 1922) and its vocation: to allow adults to resume their studies. It is based on principles of openness and educational adjustment aimed at creating favorable conditions for the success of students. The courses from the 10th grade to 12th grade are thought of as a long process where the student acquires autonomy as a future student.

The whole pedagogical team adheres to the following educational principles :

  • targeted expectations and dscipline in a caring climate,
  • respect of the individuality of the student guided by tact and a sense of humanity.

The aim is to provide a positive environment which allows the students to achieve their potential.

The aim of the courses is to provide the students with the skills necessary to progress in their academic and personal development. Mostly, it involves developing the skills, theoretical and methodological knowledge essential to succeed the BAC exam and, beyond, in their higher studies, in particular by :

  • reasoning,
  • a structure approach,
  • a reflective practice,
  • a critical mind,
  • cultural openness,
  • intellectual autonomy,
  • relational and cultural skills,
  • organizational and collaborative skills.

An adult audience returning to studies

The adult public is usually motivated and eager to progress. In reality, the expectations of students are most often implicit and diverse. In view of their previous challenges, students, particularly in the 10th grade, expect teachers above all to understand them and help them organize themselves. Due to doubts in their ability to memorize and recount, they find it difficult to learn and organize themselves. Many are in need of support, all want a new beginning which requires to regain self-confidence and restore their self-esteem.

For all students, graduating primarly reflects the desire to "integrate". After having been outside the educational system, the young adult agrees to the mantra: "first pass your BAC exam". However, even if students freely and voluntarily agree to reconnect with the educational system, they find themselves in a constraining environment, forced to obey. Among these young adults, some find it difficult to get passsed the quantitative vision of school work and find it difficult to understand what is expected. The most mature students have already thought through their project: they are more commited to their studies and acquire methods guiding in the way they study. Most see knowledge as a personal enrichment allowing them to transform themselves. However, they also face challenges which teachers must take into account in order to adapt their way of teaching.

Many of these returning students remain very vulnerable.

It can be a bad memory that led to a kind of academic disillusionment :

  • lived through injustice or humiliation,
  • conflict with authority or group,

or persistent difficulties related to :

  • peer pressure,
  • emotional instability,
  • cross-cultural issues,
  • emotional management,
  • personality disorders, accidents, or illnesses.

Just as in the convential school system returning to school can reveal numerous psychological, cultural and social vulnerabilities.

Adapted pedagogy

It is therefore important to ensure that the school environment is a key factor of well-being, bearing in mind that academic satisfaction depends on the results obtained, peer support, and above all teachers' confidence. Most students have poor self-esteem and seek the teachers' approval to regain self-confidence. Their need for recognition is sometimes awkwardly expressed but reveals the need to assert themselves. The teacher must constantly, when possible, reflect a positive image in order to maintain mutual trust.

In the 10th grade, the first objective consists in restoring the desire for studies without being discouraging, which requires patience with students, sensitive approach when handing back homework, anticipation in advance planning assessments, and conveying a true sense of organization to students.

In all classes, the specific nature of an adult public implies developing suitable teaching and learning practices. Indeed, in an adult class, the teacher continuously asks the students about what they know and calls on them to mobilize knowledge and skills acquired outside school. However, building new knowledge and confronting different points of view lead the adult learners to challenge and reflect on their own knowledge, beliefs, perceptions, errors and certainties. This may be uncomfortable and frustrating for the students and requires increased attention from the teacher.

Even before addressing the content of the program, it is therefore advisable to teach how to :

  • Listen, in the sense of receiving another vision which can sometimes offend or embarrass, and therefore develop an open mind,
  • Understand, that is to say, grasp the context, the interdependencies, the multiple dimensions of a subject ;
  • Challenge your own knowledge,
  • Think for yourself.

A dedicated pedagogical team

The teachers of the Lycée d'Adultes are the members of an educational team whose common goals consist of both facilitating the return to studies (by helping the adult to re-enroll in schooling and to take the BAC exam) encouraging sharing challenges and experiences. The work of this team requires availability, openness to others, ability to evolve and adapt its practices.

At the Lycée d'Adultes, the teachers, while respecting the national education program, seek to :

  • be considerate and show trust and appreciation,
  • make adjustments, practicing student centered and innovative strategies,
  • develop multifaceted learning practices,
  • underline the importance of the knowledge taught,
  • justify the knowledge taught, taking into account the needs expressed by the students,
  • give meaning to indirect knowledge,
  • convey the idea that knowledge can be disinterested,
  • establish assessment "for learning" and not just "of learning" supported by multiple times and forms of evaluation.

In practice, this implies to :

  • articulate flexibility and firmness, listening and reactivity,
  • give the opportunity to remediate, and improve homework/assessment,
  • demonstrate responsiveness, flexibility, improvisation,
  • build on the group dynamic by identifying the students who are engaged, energetic and driving the learning of the class.

For contracted teachers, the timetable includes, in addition to face-to-face teaching hours, additional hours for administrative tasks, and pedagogical reflexion hours, hence a variety of tasks :

  • office hours to listen to students, as they are often the class Teacher representative,
  • office hours for tutoring,
  • office hours for administrative work related to official documents, assessments and support for the website.

It is important to underline the stability of this teaching team, its engagement in the Lycée d'Adultes and the desire of teachers to develop civic empowerment and cultural openness through :

  • theater projects, debates, meetings, outings, conferences ;
  • activities such as researching and processing information to help with reading and understanding ;
  • support for learning through development of self-management (energy, time, objectives ...), of social skills, the sense of community - solidarity, cooperation and competitiveness ? ;
  • The Friends of the Lycée d'Adultes association promoting regular meetings with alumni ;
  • school trips, to Germany (for example, with the help of the Leclerc foundation) ;
  • the collective MOOC project on methodology.

Essential guidance and support

Each student can benefit from individual guidance with the Principal or a Teacher-Adviser during formal individual meetings. For the Principal or the Teacher-Adviser, it is a question of accompanying students in their progression on their educational path, of facilitating a reflexive approach, of identifying learning processes, of allowing the students to be actors of their educational path, facilitating the emergence of their identity and building their learning project. To achieve this, the Principal or the Teacher-Adviser relies on individual monitoring measuring the auditor's progression (quaterly school report cards) and on the portfolio of their lessons and homework.

Personalized progression reviews take place during class progress meetings, which allow the students to measure their achievements against set objectives and to project progression objectives for the following trimester. The individual exchange, which can take place at the student's request during class progress meetings, allows the students to achieve better self-knowledge, and identify strength and weaknesses thereby developing self-confidence and self-reliance.

Students with learning difficulties are identified at various levels of theoretical assessments given by teachers. Personalized help is offered in several subjects in order to rework the problems identified based on the analysis of their difficulty.

Particular attention is provided to students in socioeconomic difficulty with time given to listen and the implementation of emergency procedures if needed. The existence of a social fund makes it possible to help students from time to time. It is essential to appeal to appropriate structures (request "emergency aid fund", referral to social institutions etc...) and relay requests effectively.

Monthly meetings take place between the Principal and the class representatives. They allow to have a global vision of the class and to follow in particular the students in difficulty.

A time to listen and to share discussions is regularly offered to the class by the Teacher Representative for the class. Each student has the opportunity to seek advice or to address certain issues.

A lively, energizing place

How to create an environment favorable to the return to studies and not to discourage the students, a place where they can exchange and have a better vision of themselves ?

The Lycée d'Adultes has few resources but tries modestly :

  • to create, beyond a place of transmission of knowledge, a space for socialization and cultural enrichment, a place for resources and exchanges, in a friendly atmosphere ;
  • and to make knowledge attractive, by encouraging a relationship to knowledge based on curiosity and sharing.

The development of the Website, the actions described previously and events such as conferences, Open Doors, the BAC festival are also strong aspects of school life.

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