Educational photocopying in French secondary schools
How does a technology adjust the content being taught to students' reading and writing skills?
Keywords:Photocopy, Teaching, ICT
Among the documents consulted, adapted and produced by teachers, pedagogical photocopies are particular objects. First, because they are documents most often created by teachers. Then, because they are primarily destined for their students. These documents are part of a complex process that is strongly linked to contextual elements such as curriculum, textbooks, classroom dynamics and school set-up. In the framework of the ReVEA project (www.anr-revea.fr), inspired by Horsley (2012) and Horsley & Walker (2011), a quantitative study on pedagogical photocopying was conducted (Boelaert & Khaneboubi, 2016), in which 46 French upper secondary school teachers were interviewed about how they conceive of and use photocopying for their students. In what part of their teaching strategies are photocopies used? Why is it impossible to avoid using photocopies? How flexible are photocopies in the classroom? What types of documents and documentary techniques are used?
According to the teachers, the content of a photocopy is based on sample textbooks and documents found by using Google search. Analysis of the interviews suggests that photocopies are hand-crafted, tailor-made, modifiable and ephemeral textbooks. The most important criterion that guides the teaching strategy and best explains the importance and nature of photocopies is students’ reading and writing skills. Depending on whether students need to practice reading, writing or being ‘active’, teachers implement a teaching strategy based on the production of a document. When students are good readers/writers, support becomes invisible and teaching is dedicated only on content. Moreover, these documents are a way of managing the class and the activities of the students.
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