After a master degree in political sciences, I decided to focus on educational issues, and so I started a three years “hands-on” training, by doing some internships/jobs into educational NGO’s, taking some classes, reading, watching and going on the field trying to teach myself.
Doing so I traveled and lived in different countries like Canada, India, Colombia and Haïti. I experienced different types of ‘alternative pedagogies’, met many players of this ‘educational alternative’, and so I decided to dedicate a phD research project to this topic.
Alternative schools are growing fast and rise a lot of questions without being academically studied. The aim of my research is to make clearer the origins and the impact of such a phenomenon into the French educational system. Innovation in education is not new, and these schools take inspiration from old pedagogies but also from some recent disciplines in the education field, like neurosciences or positive psychology.
Nevertheless, their rise is quite unusual and make us wonder about the nowadays’ factors fostering this growth. I also want to underline that these schools are part of a larger movement of alternative education, sometimes called “edupreneurs”.
These private organisations take various forms and tackle various educational issues, but seem to recognize themselves as part of a social network. What looks quite unusual is that this movement does not mean to remain an alternative participating into education, but really aim to change the French educational system.
Agnès Van Zanten, Amelia Legavre. Engineering access to higher education through higher education fairs. 2014.