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SSRE Conference 2018

Elisabeth Chatel

For a pragmatic sociology of the curriculum: The economic and social sciences in French high schools (lycées) from 1966 to the present day

How are the contents of schooling being determined?

The introduction of new knowledge in schooling does not happen automatically, and a political decision does not suffice to make it possible to include new school subjects or new knowledge in curricula. Furthermore, subjects and knowledge continuously evolve in connection with the debates about them. These debates involve various societal groups holding more or less direct links to the contents and aims of schooling.

The presentation analyses the introduction of a new school subject in curricula, economic and social sciences. It documents and wants to understand the evolution of this subject in the high school course. To this end, it deploys a particular theoretical framework: pragmatic sociology. The presentation explicates the theoretical framework, as well as its benefits for understanding how the contents of schooling are being determined, in this case, in the economic and social sciences.