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Ariadne Pfad:


Educational Research in France

Detail of a house in the national colours of France: blue, white, red

In 2017, France celebrated 50 years of educational science and research. Two major conferences took place to recall the beginnings of educational science as a university subject in 1967, and to look back on its development during the last 50 years. The founders of the subject in France are Maurice Debesse, Jean Château and Gaston Mialaret. They also held the first chairs in educational science - at the universities of the Sorbonne, Bordeaux and Caen-Normandie.

In December 2018, a special issue of the journal Éducation et socialisation. Les cahiers du CERFEE (Centre de Recherches sur la formation, l'éducation et l'enseignement - Université de Montpellier 2) will be published. It will include contributions from the two anniversary conferences mentioned above on 50 years of educational science in France.

On this occasion, Education Worldwide compiled a webdossier on educational research in France. It offers an insight into professional societies & associations, research institutes & centers, research history, themes & trends, as well as conferences and journals of French educational research.

Professional Associations & Societies, Networks

Logos of French and Francophone professional associations in the field of educational research.
Logos of French and Francophone professional associations in the field of educational research.
Copyright: The respective professional associations (see list below)
Association des chercheurs et enseignants en science de l'éducation (AECSE)

Association française des acteurs de l'éducation (AFAE)

AEDE France - Association Européenne de l’Education

Association Recherches  et  Pratiques  en  Didactique  Professionnelle (RPDP)

Association française d`éducation comparée et des échanges (AFDECE)
Réseau international francophone de recherche en éducation et formation (REF)

Association Francophone Internationale de Recherche Scientifique en Education (AFIRSE)

Association pour le Développement des Méthodologies d’Évaluation en Éducation (Admee-Europe)

Association transdisciplinaire pour les recherches historiques sur l'éducation (ATRHE)

Association des Technologies de l`Information pour l`Education et la Formation (ATIEF)

Société Francophone de Philosophie de l'Éducation (SOFPHIED)

Association pour les Recherches Comparatistes en Didactique (ARCD)

Association  internationale  de  pédagogie universitaire (AIPU)

Research Institutes & Centres

The "National Institut of Education" (formerly Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique INRP) is the central institution for organisation, implementation, coordination and evaluation of French educational research. The website provides information on educational research and infrastructure in France: information on the organisation [...]

The ESPE are centres for teacher training and teacher education in France. They are integrated into respective universities. They train teachers for the primary and secondary level as well as for higher career grades (school directors etc.). Before 2013, the "Instituts Universitaires de Formation des Maîtres (IUFM)" were in charge of [...]

Research centres in Educational Sciences in France - geographic distribution
Research centres in France in the Educational Sciences alone - geographic distribution. The publication "La recherche sur l’éducation. Éléments pour une stratégie global." (2017) shows further maps with research centres in other disciplines doing research in education, too (e.g. political science, sociology, psychology or ICT).
Pie chart: Education research by professional disciplines in France
Education research by professional disciplines in France: Educational Science 38% - Sociology, Economy, History less than 20% - Psychology & Cognitive Sciences 17% - Information & Communication Technology (ICT) 11% - Linguistics 7% - rest 7 %

tagcloud with French termes in educational research in France
Copyright: Cohen/DBS CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Publications in French

Perez-Roux, Thérèse (Ed.); Étienne, Richard (Ed.), 2018: 50 ans de sciences de l'éducation, apports et perspectives pour la socialisation – Varia. Éducation et socialisation. Les cahiers du CERFEE 50/Décembre 2018. [cahier thématique]

Houssaye, Jean, 2018: 50 ans des Sciences de l’Éducation en France. Un colloque dans le rétroviseur. In: Academia. A publication of the Higher Education Policy Network 2018(11): 122-129.

FRANCE. Secrétariat d’Etat à l’enseignement supérieur et à la recherche; Thibault, Françoise (Ed.); Garbay, Catherine (Ed.), 2017: La recherche sur l’éducation - Eléments pour une stratégie globale. Vol. 1 & 2. Paris: Ministère de l’éducation nationale, de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche.

Marmoz, Louis (interviewed person); Panagiota, Evangelakou (contrib.); Georgios, Stamelos (contrib.), 2017: Les Sciences de l’Éducation en France : Un bilan de 50 ans. Interview de Louis Marmoz. In: Academia. A publication of the Higher Education Policy Network 2017(8): 4-34. 

Fabre, Claude; Penloup, Marie-Claude; Feliu, François (contrib.); Dubosq, Juliette (contrib.), 2016: Enquête nationale sur les forces de recherche impliquées dans le champ de l’apprentissage et de l’éducation. Paris: Ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche.

Ministère De L’éducation Nationale, De La Recherche Et De La Technologie - Direction de la recherche - Comité national de coordination de la recherche en éducation; Duru-Bellat, Marie; Bouthors, Mathilde; Guillaume, Jean-Claude (contrib.); Courant, Anne (contrib.), 1999: La recherche en éducation et en formation en France: éléments pour un état des lieux. Rapport. Paris: Institut national de recherche pédagogique (INRP)
Publications in English
Gruson, Brigitte, 2012: The State of Educational Research in France. Online: European Educational Research Association (EERA). (Members’ Reports: Conditions for Educational Research).

Bobulescu, Roxana; Reboud, Sophie, 2009: Innovations in pedagogy and educational research in France. In: Besley, Tina (A.C.) (Ed.): Assessing the Quality of Educational Research in Higher Education. International Perspectives. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. 327-342. (Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice 29). (kostenpflichtig)

Caillot, Michel, 2007: The Building of a New Academic Field: The Case of French Didactiques. In: European Educational Research Journal 6(2): 125-130.

Bourdoncle, Raymond, 1994: Educational Research in France. In: Calderhead, James (Ed.): Educational Research in Europe. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 9-13. (BERA Dialogues 9).


Poster of the conference
Poster of the conference "Enjeux, débats et perspectives : 50 ans de sciences de l'éducation [en France]" (2017)

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of educational research in France, two major conferences took place in 2017:

A thematic issue will be compiled and published using contributions of these two conferences. The thematic issue will be published in December 2018 in the journal Éducation et socialisation. Les Cahiers du CERFEE.

The two conferences mentioned above are listed at the end of the following chronological list of current conferences (newest first).

Current conferences

Beginning 08.07.2019

The conference has no specific focus. "The 'International Francophone Network for Research in Education and Training' was founded in 1989. Every two years, it organizes  meetings between researchers in education of the four founding countries (France, Belgium, Quebec, Switzerland) or another French-speaking country. These meetings take the form of parallel [...]

Beginning 03.07.2019

The deadline for abstract submission was 12 November 2018. The conference will take place from 03 to 05 July 2019. Congress has no specific theme, but the contributions should focus especially the future of education and training.

Beginning 24.06.2019

The theme of the conference is "Passages, Transfers, Trajectories in Education".  "The conference’s objective is the historical study of the way educational ideas, knowledgeand practices are constructed and transformed through multiple processes of exchange andcirculation. These processes may be situated with respect to a range of temporal [...]

Beginning 11.01.2019

The deadline for abstract submission is 11 January 2019. The conference will take place from 04 to 07 July 2019.This is an international francophone conference that takes place every two years under the aegis of ATIEF (Association of Information Technologies for Education and Training). "The scientific theme of this year's EIAH conference (IT Environments for Human [...]

Beginning 22.03.2019

The theme of the conference will be "Is there a human resources policy for National Education?" (Existe-t-il une politique des ressources humaines à l’Éducation nationale ?) The thematic areas will be:the professions of National Educationthe management of staff and their careersthe functional valorization of actors The conference will be held [...]

Beginning 08.01.2019

The theme of this conference is "Between standardization, control and formative development. Evaluations as a source of synergies?" (Entre normalisation, contrôle et développement formatif. Évaluations sources de synergies?). The conference language will be French. The thematic areas are:At the individual level, is evaluation the source of [...]

Beginning 18.10.2017

This conference is organised on the occasion of 50 years of educational science in France.  In 1967, Educational Sciences became an official subject at universities in France. The conference will explore the history of educational science in France as well as its future. A similar conference was already held in Toulouse in September 2017.

Beginning 20.09.2017

In 1967, Educational Sciences became an official subject at universities in France. To celebrate the 50 years of educational sciences in France, a conference was organised in Toulouse. The theme of the conference was a play with words in French: "Scrums and Debates - 50 years of research in education" - scrums referring to a method of restarting play in rugby, as the [...]


Cover of French journals in educational research.
Cover of French journals in educational research.
Copyright: is with the respective journals. See list at Cairn.Info.

In their 2017 publication "La recherche sur l'éducation - éléments pour une stratégie global", the authors Thibault and Garbay say that currently, there are about 70 journals in the area of educational science / educational research. Most of them are available online, especially on the platforms (now and Cairn (Thibault / Garbay 2017: 48f).

In 2015, the Association des chercheurs et enseignants en science de l'éducation (AECSE) published a list of 37 journals in the field of educational science / educational research. Additionally, there is a list of current and interesting individual journal issues on their website which also gives an insight into the educational journals' landscape.

You can furthermore find many journals in educational science / educational research in the SUDOC (Système universitaire de documentation), the largest union catalogue for university publications in France:

Last but not least, in 1999 a whole report was published on journals in education science and educational research:


Last Update: 26.05.2020  -

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