- 1 Duncheon, J. C., and Tierney, W. G. (2013). Changing Conceptions of Time: Implications for Educatio (...)
1Pour compléter ce numéro thématique de DMS : « Enseignement et formation en régime numérique : nouveaux rythmes, nouvelles temporalités ? » ; il nous a paru pertinent de nous ouvrir à ce que la littérature américaine anglo-saxonne avait produit sur le sujet. L’usage du numérique dans l’éducation s’est fait plus précocement outre-Atlantique (Chaptal, 2003 ; Saettler, 2004) et les systèmes éducatifs et l’environnement socioculturel ont maintes spécificités, y compris en ce qui concerne les temporalités, ce qui nous a semblé de nature à enrichir notre réflexion. Nous avons interrogé Julia C. Duncheon et William G. Tierney, spécialistes de la question, sur leur synthèse des recherches sur la question. Nous en citerons de larges extraits1.
2Soulignons avant d’aborder cet entretien que la précocité de l’expérience américaine en matière d’usages de technologies de l’information dans l’éducation est liée à plusieurs facteurs comme l’analyse Alain Chaptal (2003). D’une part les enseignants américains ont « une culture de pionniers » inscrite dans un contexte économique et social favorable à l’innovation, d’autre part le système éducatif est marqué par le fédéralisme qui autorise une certaine hétérogénéité des approches dans les différents états de l’Union. Aux États Unis, les usages numériques en classe et pour la conception des cours sont significatifs et globalement perçus comme ayant un impact fort sur les pratiques enseignantes comme le montre le rapport de K. Purcell, A. Heaps, J. Buchanan and L. Friedrich L. au Pew Reaserch Center (2013, p. 2) :
3« Asked about the impact of the internet and digital tools in their role as middle and high school educators, these teachers say the following about the overall impact on their teaching and their classroom work:
92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching
69% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers
67% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students ».
4Toujours dans le même rapport (p.2), les enseignants soulignent que ces usages sont chronophages :
- 2 Membres de communautés professionnelles d’apprentissage.
« At the same time, 75% of AP and NWP teachers2 say the internet and other digital tools have added new demands to their lives, agreeing with the statement that these tools have a “major impact” by increasing the range of content and skills about which they must be knowledgeable. »
5Ce même rapport aborde aussi la question des inégalités sociales. En termes de revenu ces inégalités sont plus flagrantes aux États Unis, mesurées par exemple par le coefficient de Gini, rapport entre la proportion cumulée de la population ordonnée selon le niveau de revenu et la proportion cumulée du revenu total lui revenant (compris entre 0, en cas d’égalité parfaite, et 1, en cas d’inégalité parfaite). En 2013, le coefficient de Gini est de 0,395 aux EU contre 0,294 en France.
6Julia C. Duncheon et William G. Tierney prennent en compte cette dimension dans leurs travaux et analysent les effets de ces inégalités de revenus sur l’allocation du temps à l’école et sur l’inadéquation de certaines pratiques sociales des élèves quant au temps imposé par la forme scolaire. Ils le font en mobilisant les théories en termes de classes, de domination ou encore de catégories :
« The allocation of time in schools is not neutral, but rather micropolitical: “Time distributions also reflect dominant configurations of power and status within schools and school systems” (Hargreaves, 1990, p. 306). How time is organized in schools reflects which academic subjects are privileged and which students are prioritized and embodies the temporal values of the dominant class—potentially placing marginalized youth at a disadvantage. » (p. 238)
« Working-class communities operate according to polychronic time, in which children undertake multiple activities and navigate an extensive set of interpersonal relationships simultaneously. As a result, many low-income students may feel excluded from or resistant to the monochronic structures of the school, where academic tasks are depersonalized and completed in a linear fashion (McLaren, 1986). Consequently, students may not exhibit the behaviors inherent in linear clock time, such as punctuality, scheduling, and future planning, because they interpret time differently. » (p. 257)
7De plus, les États Unis sont une société multiculturelle, où les communautés sont désormais reconnues. Mais les politiques éducatives en éducation ont longtemps imposé le temps compté industriel (clock-time) à l’école en invoquant l’insertion économique des Amérindiens, alors que la valeur du temps n’était culturellement pas la même pour les membres de ces communautés :
« the colonization of the Americas, which utilized Western temporal practices to force the assimilation of Native Americans (Pickering, 2004). For instance, the U.S. government organized reservations and schools to imbue Native American peoples with clock time discipline and thus accelerate their integration into the American labor force so that they might assume, presumably, productive lives. » (p.242)
« Varying interpretations of time also surfaced in research on indigenous peoples. Scholars have found that Native Americans possess a different time sense (Hallowell, 1937 ; Pickering, 2004). Among the Lakota people, for example, “time was never a specific minute, but rather spaces of time, like early morning, just afternoon, or just before midnight” (Pickering, 2004, p. 92). » (p. 244)
8Aujourd’hui néanmoins la politique en éducation est devenue multiculturelle dans certains districts et promeut une approche pédagogique par compétences :
« some high schools and districts have adopted proficiency-based teaching and learning approaches (D. Smith, 2012). These initiatives evaluate student learning based on mastery of content standards instead of traditional Carnegie units, which represent total seat time. Proficiency-based teaching removes temporal constraints on students’ academic progress, affording learners more flexibility and autonomy. Recognizing that many time perceptions exist allows schools to better address students’ academic needs. » (p. 258)
9Julia C. Duncheon et William G. Tierney suggèrent de nouvelles méthodes pour cerner les temporalités à l’école. Si W.G. Tierney utilise des méthodes quantitatives, il utilise également l’histoire de vie dans certaines de ses publications. En outre, il suggère avec J.C. Duncheon, l’utilisation de l’analyse de réseaux. La tradition de la social network analysis est en effet riche dans les pays anglo-saxons avec des approches structurelles par exemple fondées sur la théorie mathématique des graphes (Scott, 2013). Aujourd’hui les méthodes des social network analysis ont un nouvel objet : les social networks. Des analyses aux méthodologies combinées sont apparues comme celles de A. Martínez, Y Dimitriadis, B. Rubia, E. Gómez et P. de la Fuente (2003) pour analyser les interactions entre élèves dans la classe. Des méthodes qui ne sont cependant pas totalement ignorées en France (Lanéelle, 2007, 2011 par exemple).
Julia C. Duncheon is Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Foundations at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her work focuses on issues of college access, readiness, and equity for students from underserved populations.
William G. Tierney is University Professor and Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education at the University of Southern California, Co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education, a member of the National Academy of Education and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
10Philippe Cottier et Xavière Lanéelle — The idea of providing the thematic issue of « Distance and Mediation of Knowledge » entitled « Education and training in digital environment : new rhythms, new temporalities ? » came following collective task and publication in which we participated : « High School in Digital Mode, Actors Uses and Compositions » (Cottier et Burban, 2016).
11In this study of stakeholders’ practices, we noted that students, teachers, administrative staff, have to manage faster paces and time-frames imposed on them. For these actors and in this situation, ICT present both an opportunity and a constraint : digital communication technologies enable to comply with contemporary temporality requirements that they themselves helped to install. Educational professionals we met think that temporalities and work pace has been profoundly transformed by their ICTs uses.
12On the part of students, we have shown, in particular, that time spent doing homework is highly dependent on students’ learning strategies (Laborious, Efficient, Idle, Dilettante), on the rapport they have with the school form, their day-to-day uses of ICT and on the purposes for which they are used: social or recreational.
13For teachers and headmasters, time needed to appropriate new technologies and time devoted to preparing lessons get into a cost/benefit game: getting involved to teach or manage differently vs cut back on their own time. A cost borne by some and rejected by others, whose involvement depends, in part, on the disciplines taught.
14Thus, time spent doing homework and its nature would depend on techno-communicational shape of ICT used but also linked to individual, cultural, social and professional incorporated dimensions.
15In this study, we tried to measure the time spent by students to use social networks or text message, watching movies, listening to music or watching music videos, playing video or computer games or surfing the Internet for recreational purposes. Furthermore, we tried to measure the time devoted to homework, institutional ICT for education uses, etc. : a very delicate task because of youth multitasking.
In this way, we lack pertinent theoretical and methodological tools to find out the complexity and nuances of these situations.
16This thematic issue that we chair gathers various texts relating to different fields which aimed at questioning time in education in digital uses situations.
17In the text that you’ve published (Changing Conception of Time: Implications for Educational Research and Practice) you also notice these problems faced by research. In the context of the so-called digital revolution, you explain how individuals use reticular technologies to shape their temporal experiences, and faced with new rhythms of daily life. Particularly, you argue that “the integration of ICT into modern life suggests three new temporal developments : blurred boundaries, temporal flexibility, and multitasking”.
In this context you mentioned that scientific approaches of time in education must be rethought because the traditional ways to understanding time have been undermined by new practices that they can’t properly and completely describe.
(1) Ph. Cottier et X. Lanéelle — Could you explain the required paradigm shift you are proposing ?
J. C. Duncheon and W. G. Tierney — We identify three perspectives on time relevant to educational research. The first, Clock Time, refers to traditional Western ways of thinking about time as measured in linear units (e.g., calendar days, hours, and minutes). This paradigm reflects dominant assumptions about time in Western society, in particular, that time can be quantified and used, or managed, to maximize human efficiency. The second, Socially Constructed Time, acknowledges how temporal sense-making varies across different social and cultural contexts. Values such as punctuality and scheduling are not universal, but rather contextually and culturally specific.
We propose a third paradigm, Virtual Time, which we view as a byproduct of the ICT revolution. This perspective acknowledges the increasing complexity of time in a world where people are immersed in ICT. We identify three key shifts. First, the boundaries that we previously took for granted are fading. For example, we no longer have to physically be in a particular space like a classroom during traditional school hours to learn academic content, because we can do so online from any location at any time. Second, people have more temporal flexibility than in prior decades. We constantly organize and reorganize our activities-- such as a meeting time-- through ICT. Third, we now engage in multitasking at a faster, nearly instantaneous pace.
(2) Ph. Cottier et X. Lanéelle — Can you tell us more about it ? And how can these perspectives be articulated ?
J. C. Duncheon and W. G. Tierney — Though Virtual Time represents a dynamic shift in the way people interact with time in the 21st century, it does not replace Clock Time or Socially Constructed Time. The assumptions of Clock Time are deeply ingrained in Western society. If a professor sets a deadline for a paper, students are likely to be penalized for submitting late work. If a person arrives at a scheduled job interview 30 minutes late, the employer is likely to question the candidate’s competence for the position. Socially Constructed Time reminds us that individuals across and within cultures may have different temporal orientations. Some may place more value on the present than planning for the future, for instance. Recognizing that students may think about time differently can enable educators to better meet their needs.
As Virtual Time opens up new opportunities for how we communicate and organize ourselves across space and time, the clock still governs dominant institutions. People still possess unique perceptions of time. In some ways these time paradigms are contradictory. The rules of Clock Time suggest a given event should occur at a specified time, whereas the affordances of Virtual Time-- such as sending a text or email about arriving late-- may alter people’s behaviors. The challenge for people today is learning to navigate these varied expectations and possibilities.
(3) Ph. Cottier et X. Lanéelle — What are the educational issues ? And after all, how can relevant research inform inequalities among pupils and influence decision-making to reduce them ? How does one utilize ICTs productively ?
- 3 Aux États-Unis – mais pas seulement - l’expression K-12 signifie l’ensemble du système scolaire du (...)
J. C. Duncheon and W. G. Tierney — These different time paradigms have important implications for educating today’s youth. Our institutions still operate according to the assumptions of Clock Time. K-123 students are expected to arrive at school at a certain time and devote a specified number of hours to learning academic content. Concepts like “time on task” are still used to evaluate how much students are learning.
Socially Constructed Time illustrates how diverse students may have different temporal assumptions and expectations. Students from non-dominant backgrounds may be at a disadvantage in formal school settings if the temporal values of their homes and communities do not match those of the school. In this respect, research on culturally relevant or culturally sustaining pedagogy is instructive. By recognizing the diverse time orientations of non-dominant students, educators may draw on students’ prior temporal knowledge to teach the temporal expectations that facilitate school success.
Similar pedagogical approaches might be applied to help students navigate the tensions between Clock Time and Virtual Time. As young people, students are often immersed in ICT and possess technological savvy that adults do not. They may use technology such as social media and texting with greater ease and creativity. Educators can build on these skills to impart strategies for academically oriented ICT use. Students also need to understand when and how to shift between the mentalities of Clock Time (e.g., recognizing that course assignment deadlines should be met) and Virtual Time (e.g., using an online search engine to extend learning time outside the classroom).
(4) Ph. Cottier et X. Lanéelle — In this respect, which research programs, methodologies seem a better position to respond to the issues?
C. Duncheon and W. G. Tierney —Traditionally, time use research has reflected Clock Time assumptions and utilized quantitative methods, such as surveys and time diaries. Research on Socially Constructed Time originated in the field of anthropology and tended to feature qualitative approaches such as ethnography. With the emergence of Virtual Time, it seems that using either quantitative or qualitative approaches in isolation may provide an incomplete picture of students’ temporal practices. Mixed methods research seems better positioned to capture the complex relationship between students’ time use and educational outcomes, as does network analysis.
There is also a need to develop innovative approaches to data collection and analysis in digital spaces. Certain quantitative metrics, such as the amount of time a student spends online or the amount of time a student uses his or her smartphone, offer some insight. At the same time, how a student spends that time is perhaps a more critical question. In prior decades, if a student was doing homework for an hour, he or she was likely sitting at a desk with a book and a notebook. Now, a student might work on homework for an hour, but what happens during that time is less straightforward. For example, he or she may be using Google on a computer to research a course assignment, but may also have Facebook open in a separate window, and/or be using Snapchat or Instagram on a smartphone. Research methods are needed that can acquire rich qualitative data-- both digitally and face-to-face-- about what students are doing when they engage with ICT.
Entretien réalisé par Philippe Cottier et Xavière Lanéelle