CNESCO International Seminar held in partnership with CIEP

September 28, 2018
EUNEC participated at his international seminar, organised by member organisation Cnesce (Conseil Natinoal de l'Evaluation Scolaire, France).

Presentation of CIEP by Pierre-François Mourier.
CIEP (Centre International des Etudes Pédagogiques) is an institution of the French Ministry of Education, dealing a.o. with international public cooperation education. CIEP deals with assessment and certification, recognition of qualifications and international mobility. CIEP is member of the Sorbonne Université Alliance.
Three areas of intervention:
1. Pivotal role in distributing knowledge and experiences;
• Organisation of conferences to issues facing educational systems;
Training courses and expert services. Strong trend in 2017: focus on teacher training in French language, enormous challenge for instance in Subsahara.
• Project management of bilateral or multilateral funding (not only EU); three strategic objectives of CIEP
2. Promoting ‘francophonie’ and multilingualism;
3. Promoting international mobility. Inspiring example: ‘assistant teachers’, from France and from abroad.

Presentation of Cnesco by Nathalie Mons, president
It is the first Cnesco international seminar.
Cnesco is just five years old, a very young and small institution, created by law in 2014. Cnesco is independent.
Three missions:
1. Evaluation of the state of education;
2. Disseminate the results of evaluation and research; a structured strategy to assure that our findings and recommendations reach the field.
3. Assess the evaluation methodologies employed by the Ministry (delicate!) and international bodies.

The composition of the council reflects independence. The Ministry is not represented. Cnesco has academics from various disciplines, parliamentarian and members of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council.
Cnesco has also an advisory board, including all stakeholders of education in France: teachers, school leaders, union, companies, local authorities, students, parents, ..).
Cnesco walks on two legs: scientific assessment and an approach based on participation:
 Scientific assessment based on the engagement of a network of 250 researchers (multidisciplinary);
 Participatory evaluation. Ideas don’t fly: so there is need for a strategy to have the results circulated in the educational community. The strategy includes consensus conferences and international comparisons conferences, …
Stakeholders are involved at different levels (surveys, studies, steering committees for conferences, advisory board, …), help Cnesco to write recommendations; but they don’t have impact on the evaluation.

Emily Helmeid presents the consensus conference and the comparison conference. These conferences give the opportunity to share our work.
Consensus conferences are inspired by medical discipline. The objective is to address a rather controversial topic, to benefit from the full range of perspectives by researchers from various disciplines, and then elaborate a set of recommendations formulated by a jury of stakeholders (jury of about 20 persons, intensive preparation and follow-up). Final phase is to reach practitioners in the field.
The consensus conference (2 days) alternates between:
 Scientific briefings from the experts in response to a series of questions identified during the planning stages;
 Questioning of the experts by the stakeholders.
There is no specific timeslot for the jury during the two days event. The jury is trained/prepared before the conference and works at the recommendations after the conference. During the event, the jury is ‘kept together’ as a kind of court.
Comparisons conferences have the objective to present international analyses in other countries, to recommend a concrete set of actions that can be taken to treat the issue in France, and to facilitate the creation of a network of decision-makers that continue to work together on the issue.
This time, the recommendations are not formulated by a jury, but by the participants, in workshops.
The comparisons conference (2 days) alternates between:
 Expert plenary sessions;
 Participatory workshops focused on the French case.

Presentation of the twin conference model
Emily Helmeid (Cnesco), Leila El Khamlichi (Higher Council for Education, Training and Research, Morroco) and Raul Chacon Zuloaga (Agency for Quality in Education)
How to get involved in Cnesco conferences? Five steps, from very easy and accessible to very intensive and time-consuming:
1. Virtual participation via streaming, with chat option. In French for CC or in French and English for ICC; possible to follow individually or with a group;
2. Bring in an expert;
3. Produce recommendations to be used in your own country = create your own jury and/or organise your own participatory workshops;
4. Implement a full twin conference;
5. We could have the same conference at different spots and gather all results.
Morroco and Chili explain how they organised their twin conference, together with Cnesco.
Their motivation: Why did they engage?
 The subject itself: the issue of early school leaving.
 The format: it is quite original, allowing international comparison and allowing an important number of local actors to benefit. It is innovative to have a group of education stakeholders sitting together in Morroco or Chili, and following a conference held in Paris.

Lessons learnt:
 It was a success, nothing but positive feedback;
 Enough time is needed to prepare and to plan (in order to reach a bigger audience); two months is a minimum. Preparation includes many mail and skype contacts with Cnesco, as well as inviting and preparing local participants.
 Be prepared technically! Foresee a plan B, and C (skype, whatsapp, …);
 Take into account differences between time zones, local habits (hours of prayer to be taken into account),…Tailored approach!
 As the conference is only in French (and English), Chili needed translation: logistic challenges for translation in a short period.
 Hardly any financial implications. On the contrary: savings on international budget. You just need a well equipped conference room.
 More time for questions and answers is needed, but this is also often the case in ‘traditional’ conferences.