Friday, March 24, 2023

Yes to general college education: not to a la carte education!

Collegiate Collegiate Quebec students have just replaced the idea of ​​general education (GE), in CEGEP with elective courses. In CEGEP, all students have a common core of courses in literature, philosophy, English and physical education. CEGEPs tend to have elective courses in English. But why was FG a common cultural collegial model from the beginning?

On the one hand, because the common core course allows students from all programs to share reference points. Concepts, themes and issues can be discussed publicly.

On the other hand, these courses must be explained by what the great sociologist Guy Rocher calls reflexivity, or the ability to make critical judgments about sociopolitical issues.

CEGEPs not only have a role to play as professionals, but also as citizens.

Of free will

Now what can be common to all citizens, and develop a reflection? In the classic texts that built our civilization. You may or may not like this classic. Thinking about the ideas that have built our social life, whether to preserve them or criticize them.

In the model of free will, the student chooses what corresponds to his tastes, therefore based on the opinions he has already acquired. For example, courses in feminism are very popular. But how should we understand the historical development that led to this thought?

And those who do not seek feminism, or worse, those who reject it, will choose something other than running. How to deconstruct sexism? Especially not by ignoring the development of ideas!

Importing the English model of electives, because the approach is more popular, this is benchmarks. We borrow the most effective of their processes from our competitors. Thus we approach education in commerce.

The French scientist Olivier Roy warns us against a la carte education, where everyone chooses what they like. Culture is then reduced to fragments of information detached from any context. When all choices are equal, cultural content is reversed.

Today it is a popular diversity. But what will be modern tomorrow? First of all, how will future citizens, who have no common cultural characteristics, be able to discuss together?

To educate citizens, not to consume them

The reduction of culture to each consumption choice continues to depoliticize the governance of society. Pain replaces the citizen.

The education system will never satisfy the desire for free will in any way the internet can. You still need to have a solid critical mind so you don’t get lost and become fooled by the algorithms!

Common core courses integrate students into a global community of critical thinking. This community includes Descartes, Marx and Anne Arendt, Voltaire, Anne Hébert and Simone de Beauvoir, and many more. The student must choose between those who will be his best allies and who will be his adversary. This is true freedom.

FLASH and selective focus university student using a computer while studying in the computer room.  A group of students studying in a computer room.  A serious student at the university is working on the computer.

Photo provided by Georges-Rémy Fortin

George-Rémy Fortin, Bois-de-Boulogne College

Aïcha Van Dun, Cegep de L’Assomption

Jean Francis Gignac, Bois-de-Boulogne College

Caroline Hébert, Cegep de Sainte-Foy

Fredericus Belzile, Ahuntsic College

Marie-Lou Bouchard, Rosemont College

Yannick Lacroix, College de Maisonneuve

John Francis Bergeron, Cegep of Drummondville

Nicholas Bourdon, College Bois-de-Boulogne

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