Knowledge, practices, didactics

The knowledge-practice-didactics axis is concerned with the production, dissemination and circulation of knowledge and practices within institutions. It brings together epistemological reflections, studies of teaching and learning practices, the design of teaching and/or training environments, and questions about the role of language in these processes. Most of the research carried out in this area concerns schools, but it can also be applied to other fields, where knowledge and/or practices are identified as part of individual or collective construction, dissemination, transmission and/or acquisition.


In the school context, the question of the discipline, the school discipline, is a focus of the axis' work. Our work also focuses on societal questions and issues that do not involve a single disciplinary referent, whether academic or not, but a plural and diversified one. These characteristics lead to the mobilization of a multi-referential didactic approach. Inter-didactic research is also developed within the axis.

Some of the questions studied in this area integrate a historical and/or curricular perspective, in order to bring to light disciplinary configurations and reconfigurations likely to help us understand the construction and evolution of teaching practices. Articulations and tensions between, for example, knowledge and practice, formal and non-formal, in-school and out-of-school, etc., are the focus of research not only in the field of teaching and/or education (school, early childhood, university, etc.), but also in other learning and/or training environments, such as the health and social professions.

The research carried out in this area, whatever its modalities, theoretical foundations or methodologies, aims to understand or transform practices.

Within the framework of this axis, we will :

  1. To study knowledge objects and practices in the light of societal, technological and scientific developments, and to (re)define the aims and challenges of their transmission. This epistemological reflection can be carried out from a diachronic or synchronic perspective.
  2. To describe, in order to know and understand, discourses and practices (in particular teaching practices and training practices), as well as the learning processes of students/trainees, taking into account their didactic dimension, with some research crossing didactic approaches with sociological, psychological, anthropological approaches, etc.
  3. Build and/or develop teaching and/or training environments, and study the dynamics of transformation.
  4. Examine the role of language in learning, teaching and vocational training.


Overview of SPD projects

  • ANADEPEM: ANalyse de l'Activité et Développement Professionnel des Enseignants des Écoles Maternelles. 2016-19
    This action-research project, which involves PES, PEMF, teacher-trainers and teacher-researchers, seeks to identify the points on which the cross-fertilization of the views of each can be fruitful, based on the introduction of new devices in classrooms and using the skills of PEMF, teacher-trainers and teacher-researchers to shed light on practices and theoretical thinking, and enable the transfer into training of elements that will be deemed relevant by both. The approach is circular (practical knowledge questions theoretical knowledge and vice versa) and is based on close collaboration between the two. The medium-term objective is to produce relevant resources for the entire community concerned. The particularity of this project is to articulate activity analysis, discourse analysis and didactic analysis around the professionalization of teachers.
    Scientific leaders: Hélène Marquié-Dubié, MC Psychology and Sandrine Bazile, MC French Language and Literature.
  • AREN Argumentation et Numérique. 2016-2020
    The AREN (ARgumentation Et Numérique) project, led by LIRDEF and LIRMM, aims to develop and study a digital platform for online debates that promotes the development of students' argumentative skills and critical thinking.
    Funding: e-FRAN - total: €603,000; LIRDEF share: €205,000.
    LIRDEF participants: Manuel Bächtold, Sylvie Canat, Kévin de Checchi, Capucine Huet, Valérie Munier and Gabriel Pallarès.
  • ECRICOL. 2016-2020
    The ECRICOL project aims to identify students' writing skills and difficulties at the start of sixth grade, in two school subjects (French and SVT), with a view to designing teaching devices and tools that meet their needs.
    Funding: ANR - €58,000.
    Project leader Maurice Niwese (UB, ESPE Aquitaine).
    Researcher involved in the steering committee within the academy: Sandrine Bazile.
    Researchers involved: multidisciplinary team of around thirty people (EC, teachers, management staff, IPR, engineers).
  • Development and evaluation of a professional development scheme aimed at improving the teaching of modeling in mathematics and physical science. 2019
    Keywords: Teaching practices, Activity analysis, Professional development, Modeling, Measurement, Priority education.
    Despite their centrality in students' science education and in school curricula, learning and teaching issues related to modeling receive very little attention in classrooms at all levels of schooling. Our previous work has shown the potential of working on empirical and theoretical aspects of measurement as a lever for improving students' learning about modelling and for teachers' professional development. In addition, activity-theoretic research into teacher training suggests that training systems should be thought of in terms of enriching practices, through collaborative arrangements between teachers and researchers. The aim of this project is to test the relevance of didactic tools derived from our research on measurement to enrich teachers' practices and improve student learning.
    Funding: UM 5154,5 €
    Project leader: Aurélie Chesnais
    Researchers involved: Aurélie Chesnais, Valérie Munier, Serge Leblanc. A DDS M1 student is also involved in the project.
  • FORMSCIENCES. 2014-18
    This project aims to evaluate the impact of training in inquiry-based science teaching, aimed at elementary school teachers, on teachers' practices and, ultimately, on pupils' learning and their taste for science.
    Funding: ANR - total amount: €645,000 - coordinator Marc Gurgand, "qualitative evaluation" part, coordinated by LIRDEF: €176,000.
    LIRDEF participants: Manuel Bachtold, Aurélie Chesnais, David Cross, Karine Molvinger, Valérie Munier.
  • ID-ADL Implicits and school differentiation: didactic and linguistic analysis of students' group work in physics class. 2017-2019
    This project aims to understand the effects of implicits (in particular teaching stakes and essential contents with regard to official programs, taking into account reference knowledge and practices, but also implicits linked to language) on the differentiation process in physics class.
    Funding: ESPE-LR - €2,900 - applied for 2019 - €2,000.
    LIRDEF participants: Sandrine Bazile, Aurélie Chesnais, David Cross, Céline Constantin, Valérie Munier.
  • Learning by body in languages. 2018-19
    Process of didactic transposition of learning by body in the classroom
    Following a training program (L'Apprendre par corps en langues) for teachers, PEMFs and part-time teachers in 2017-18, the aim is now to transpose the content used during the training into the classroom, by supporting professionals in the field in their didactic reflection, the design of interdisciplinary didactic projects and their implementation in the classroom. At the end of this second stage, video recordings and films of classroom sessions will be produced.
    LIRDEF participants: Stéphane Soulaine, Sylvie Perez, Aldo Gennai.
  • LEXIFORM Lexics and Training. 2019
    The LEXIFORM project focuses on language and teaching-learning processes in the context of collaborative research, with a direct impact on initial and continuing training. It focuses in particular on the role of the lexicon and literary acculturation in practices put into work situations by different stakeholders. The activities of kindergarten teachers in the REP+ project (Rectorat-LIRDEF, 2017-2020), as well as those of educational and artistic partners, are observed in their day-to-day work, where their contribution to lexical acquisition and cultural practices of literature, particularly as informed by the lexicon, unfolds.
    The research axis brings together a multidisciplinary team and three laboratories: LIRDEF, PRAXILING, CLLE-ERSS-Université du Mirail. The research-training link of the LEXIFORM project consists in transposing didactic, experimental and methodological means into training situations where resources co-constructed with actors in the field can be shared, (re)configured and used at different levels of professional development.
    Funding: ESPE LR (applied for) - 4000 €.
    Participants: LIRDEF : BrahimAzaoui (MCF 7, UM) - Clément Barniaudy (MCF 23, UM) - Christine Boutevin (MCF 9, UM) - Catherine Dupuy (MCF 7, UM) -- Valérie Munier ( PU, 28 ) --Yves Soulé (MCF 7, UM) - Frédéric Torterat (PU 7, UM) ; CLLE-ERSS: Karine Duvignau (PU 7, Université du Mirail) ; PRAXILING : Nathalie Auger (PU 7, UPV) - Jérémi Sauvage (MCF 7, HDR UPV).
  • MULTIPLL (research on MULTImodality and Plurilingualism in Literature for Language Teaching).2019
    The project aims to work on the use of plurilingual children's albums. While their use by primary school teachers, especially in the early years, sometimes seems self-evident or at least facilitated by the existence of bi-plurilingual albums available at school, such use seems rare, if not non-existent in language classes at collège or lycée. But isn't there a need to encourage and promote linguistic diversity at this level of schooling, notably through the use of bi-plurilingual literary works, without sacrificing the teaching of modern languages, or does linguistic diversity only have a place in elementary school?
    From a didactic point of view, these reflections raise questions about the relationship that teachers have with languages. Our experience of training language teachers suggests that primary and secondary school teachers have a more or less "peaceful" relationship with the languages they teach, which can be linked to the linguistic security/insecurity of these practitioners, depending on the level of teaching (primaryorsecondary) and the teachers' university training. We therefore postulate that professional gestures reveal a variable attitude to languages and to the issue of linguistic diversity, an attitude whose description and understanding require a multimodal approach that rejects the logocentrism of language to introduce, on an equal footing, kinesic, prosodic, graphic and scriptural elements.
    Funding: ESPE-LR - €3300.
    Participants: I. Aliaga (doctoral student LIRDEF, UM) ; G. Arbousset (PRCE, FDE/UM) ; B. Azaoui (Project manager, MCF, didactique des langues-FLE/S, LIRDEF, UM), D. Heches (PhD, CRESEM, UPVD / chargé de mission CASNAV 66), D. Hervé (Chargée de mission CASNAV 66), D. Mercier (PRAG, FDE/UM), P. Monjo (PRAG, PhD, DIPRALANG/LIRDEF), R. Peix (PRAG, PhD, LIRDEF) ; T. Tréfault (MCF, Didactique du français, DIPRALANG), S. Ulrich (PRAG, Docteure, EMMA, UPV).
  • OIPA: International Observatory of Algebraic Thought. 2016- ...
    This international network (six countries represented) aims to study the conditions for the development of algebraic praxeologies from elementary school onwards, without the use of literal language. It is motivated by the recurrent observation, both in France and abroad, of learning difficulties in algebra, and is part of the international Anglo-Saxon
    Early Algebra movement. We are particularly interested in the conditions for a progressive entry into algebra from the perspective of curricular evolution and the evolution of teaching practices, taking into account the specificities of mathematics teaching in France.
    Funding 2016-2018: Conseil Franco-Québécois - €19,600. Julia Pilet (LDAR, Paris) is currently applying for funding from the Conseil Franco-Québécois to extend the project.
    Participants: Alain Bronner, Céline Constantin, Anne-Marie Rinaldi, Floriane Wozniak.
  • PELAS. 2014-19
    This "hermeneutic" project seeks to describe actual practices in the teaching and learning of literature and its reading in secondary schools in order to identify possible areas of transformation in teaching practices and thus to envisage not only the adaptation of the discipline to the culture and society of our time, but also the training of readers of literature from a curricular perspective.
    Funding: AUF, SFR, partner laboratories and universities (UTM Jean Jaurès, U. Artois / ESPE Lille Nord de France (Textes et Cultures), UBM / UB - ESPE aquitaine (TELEM), Université de Cergy Pontoise / ESPE Versailles (EMA), Université Grenoble Alpes (Litt&Arts), HE Léonard de Vinci ENCBW Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (CRIPEDIS) - €19,250
    FDE and ESPE-LR (2016) - €1,000 (Sollicité FDE - €1,500).
    LIRDEF participants: Sandrine Bazile, Christine Boutevin, Agnès Perrin-Doucey
    Role of language in teaching and learning and teacher training. 2017-19
    Funding: ESPE-LR - €6900.
    LIRDEF participants: Aurélie Chesnais, David Cross, Catherine Dupuy, Serge Leblanc, Valérie Munier, Yves Soulé, Frédéric Torterat.
  • R2D2AE: Regulating Didactic Devices by Analyzing Student Activity. 2019-2021
    The R2D2AE project aims to study effective teaching-learning practices in French, mathematics and science, from a descriptive and comprehensive perspective, focusing investigations on a little-documented paradigm: how does the teacher evaluate student activity and take it into account to regulate his or her own activity, didactic devices and learning situations? Data will be analyzed within a multi-referenced framework (didactic analysis, language analysis of interactions, analysis of professional gestures, activity analysis).
    Funding: UM including FDE - €16413.76.
    LIRDEF participants : Aldo Gennaï MCF9 (project leader), Christine Boutevin (MCF 9) - Aurélie Chesnais (MCF 26) - Catherine Dupuy (MCF 7) -- Valérie Munier (PU 28) - Agnès Perrin-Doucey (MCF 9) - Yves Soulé (MCF 7).
  • TALC: Du Texte A La Classe. 2017-2020
    This project aims to describe actual practices in literature in Cycle 3 by questioning, on the one hand, how teachers take into account the "personal training issues" explicitly assigned to literature in the most recent programs (2015) and, on the other hand, how CM and 6ème teachers professionally grasp the same text.s de CM et de 6ème se saisent professionnellement du même texte.
    Total funding: €29579.
    Phase 2017: UM - €12320 ; FDE - 500 ; Univ. GA - 1100 ; Univ. Rennes 2 - 1350 €
    Phase 2019 : ESPE LR - 3919 € ; UM - 7510 € ; FDE - 2880 €.
    LIRDEF participants : S. Bazile , C. Boutevin , Y. Daumet , C. Dupuy , M. Eugène, A. Gennaï , S. Genre A. Perrin-Doucey, P. Richard-Principalli, S. Leblanc, H. Raux Y. Soulé, F. Torterat.
  • VOI : Voir, faire, dire. 2018-2021
    What are the place and learning methods of savoir-voir, savoir-faire and savoir-dire in the teaching of visual arts? What is the meaning, aim and implementation of an education in seeing? What is the nature of the targeted content? How is the student's practice in the visual arts different from or similar to that of the artist or teacher? The project is based on prescribed, declared and actual practices.
    Projects: Rencontres/colloque des arts plastiques en 2020: état des lieux de l'enseignement des arts plastiques Interdisciplinary seminar following the Rencontres/colloque.
    Participants: Caroline Blanvillain, Franck Leblanc and co-construction with colleagues from Montpellier's Paul Valéry University: Valérie Arrault and Karine Pinel.

Summary compiled by Brahim Azaoui, Aurélie Chesnais, Gilles Dieumegard, Brigitte Louichon, Valérie Munier, Agnès Perrin-Doucey, Floriane Wozniak.