2015 controversies at the Microlycée 93 draw to a close

On March 19th 2015, students from the Microlycée 93 presented their supervised personal work projects (TPE) in which they carried out their controversial studies. This project is a component of the final degree (baccalauréat). A preparation and rehearsal day was being held Thursday, March 12th. Visit of the Microlycée of Le Bourget. 

Thursday, March 12th. Looks like an ordinary day at the Microlycée 93, in the heart of the Lycée du Bourget. Yet it is an important day because it is fully devoted to final preparations for the first round of baccalaureate exams for 11th grade students specialized in Literature and economic & social studies, which will take place a week later. The exam in question is the supervised personal work project (TPE), in which students carry out their controversial studies. The Microlycée has been involved in pedagogy based on the analysis of controversies for three years now.


A wide variety of subjects based on everyone’s interests

The TPE defense comes after several weeks of effort during which students work in small groups of two or three units  and are trained in various investigation and research techniques in order to address a variety of controversial subjects.
At the Microlycée, as in all the other institutions that deliver Controversy description courses, a wide range of topics are being discussed. The highlights of 2015 feature studies on shale gas exploitation in France or medically assisted reproduction, but also the effects of repeating years in school or the issue of freedom of information in the Wikileaks case. But locally, the course presents the specificity of testing different reporting formats, sometimes even combining them:  in addition to websites, students can create videos, as in the group that worked on euthanasia, another one that studied the dangers of third and fourth generation birth control pills, or one that worked on an audio file giving access to a true-false forty five minute-long radio show concerning the delicate question “can we speak of black music?”.

Final examinations extensively prepared by students 
March 12 comes by as investigations are concluded. The goal is to prepare the oral defense that the students will be faced with. They are working in groups to bring together key elements of the investigation and to provide a staging that allows to test the achievements of the introduction to public speaking that was offered to them during their week at Sciences Po in December 2014.
Meanwhile, part of the Microlycée’s teaching team tirelessly mobilizes around inviting the absentees to come participate in this event, in the preparation of the final exam. Others train students in the conditions of the test, mimicking the jury the students will face in a few days: five minutes per student, five minutes for questions/answers and more time for the final presentation and emphasize of the highlights of the project. Some groups already delivered very satisfactory work based on thorough surveys, like the one addressing the controversies surrounding the opening of a safer consumption room in Paris.
Besides the interest of this work and the teachings brought by the Microlycée’s teaching team’s investment in order to make the functioning of this Controversy course possible in high school, this day also provided an opportunity to develop an assessment grid adapted to high school productions, which covers both the substance of the studies and the oral delivery of students in front of the jury.

All FORCCAST partners unite in their wishes of luck for the Microlycée’s students in the defense of the interesting TPE’s they’ve created! 

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