During his study visit in Lyon, France in June 2014, our colleague Attila VARGA learned about the French practice of teaching natural sciences combined with different other disciplines.
The key to the development of co-teaching methods is to operate a well-functioning system to support the professional work of teachers who wish to participate in such pedagogical experiments. This is organines under the system of Centres Académiques Recherche-Développement Innovation Expérimentation, the CARDIEs. Practicing teachers who cooperate with peers from other schools to put educational projects into action work for these centres. 40 such educational experiences ran in Lyon in the last year. These are generally 5-6 weeks long projects coordinated by two teachers. Besides these experiements, another important supporting tool is the sharing of best practices, which are available on the following websites:
Experitheque – http://eduscol.education.fr/experitheque/carte.php
ACCESS – http://acces.ens-lyon.fr/acces/aLaUne/smart
KEYCONET – http://keyconet.eun.org
According to Mr. Varga’s assessment, the French education system provides a substantial amount of support for the development of programs for the joint teaching of natural sciences and other disciplines, however, severe obstacles (a long and bureucratic qualifying process and a lack of cooperation between teachers – those who do not participate in these experiments are not motivated to join in) encumber the dissemination of these programs.