School level: the school of suckers


What comes back in the mouth of all the teachers, beyond the explanations specific to each subject, is the collapse of the language level. In short, even if they have ideas on the bottom, the pupils are completely incapable of expressing them in a paper. For Élodie Weber, professor of Spanish linguistics at the Sorbonne, this is the number one problem: ” Most of my colleagues make this observation: the level in French is alarming “. And to detail: There are problems at all levels: spelling obviously, but not only. It is also the syntax, and even more the punctuation which has become catastrophic, which means that there is no longer any logical thought “.

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As they no longer master the words, the students are deprived of the instruments to reason, until they become properly mute – and this in all subjects. Professor of history, geography and economics, passed during his long career by college, high school and university, and today two years from retirement, Oleg Kobtzeff shares this observation, and adds the graphic dimension: The evolution is very visual: it is the writing. It’s not so much the spelling that has become catastrophic, as the very ability to form letters. It was getting harder and harder to read their handwriting. In thirty years, we have gone from impeccable adult writing, among university students, to writing like we saw in sixth-fifth graders – and still, not the best “.

A capacity for abstraction at half mast

Basically, there is a problem that affects all disciplines: the capacity for abstraction seems to diminish over time. Noting a drop in the level since the 1990s, Oleg Kobtzeff noticed in his discipline ” a difficulty in projecting oneself in time, a chronological difficulty in imagining the succession of eras “.

Since I started, the level has dropped considerably to the point that I had to review a number of exercises that I can no longer give today. »

Élodie Weber, professor of Spanish linguistics

In addition to expression, it is comprehension that is at stake. However, explains Élodie Weber, a teacher for more than twenty years: “ Since I started, the level has dropped considerably to the point that I had to review a number of exercises that I can no longer give today. “. If she used to give her students a theoretical text analysis, she first had to amend her assessment by guiding the students with questions, before finally removing the exercise to avoid the carnage. The observation is clear: in addition to no longer knowing how to express themselves and chaining misinterpretations without even realizing it, the students no longer understand what is conceptual and abstract “. Without the capacity for abstraction, it is by definition intelligence that no longer exists. […]

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School level: the school of suckers – L’Incorrect