Subject in Socially Acute Questions Clinical Didactics: a New Approach to Study Teachers Subjectivity


  • Emmanuelle Brossais ÉSPÉ Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, UMR-EFTS, Université Toulouse Jean-Jaurès, GRID-QSV, EDiC



Neutrality, Teacher positioning, Subject, Clinical didactics, Socially Acute Questions


In socially acute question didactics and “education for” subject-specific areas, the objects of teaching are not considered to be fixed and they entail values and controversial issues. The set of issues related to neutrality thus arises for these problems, which combine advanced and often fragmented scientific knowledge, ethical issues, and complex political and administrative issues.
The question of teacher opinion is particularly important in teaching these uncertain kinds of knowledge (Girault & Lhoste, 2010). The teaching of socio-scientific issues (SCI) confronts teachers with taking a new position: that of committed impartiality, whereas instructional communication has traditionally been built on a duty to remain impartial and neutral regarding schoolroom discourse (Urgelli, 2009). The particular context in which content knowledge is not stabilized raises once again the question of teacher subjectivity.
This paper proposes reflecting epistemologically on the different ways of studying teacher subjectivity in their teaching of, or providing instruction on, socially controversial issues. Research on SCI teaching practices focuses on actors or subjects according to their theoretical and epistemological grounding, for example social representations (Jeziorski & Legardez, 2013), fostering socio-political activism (Bencze, 2013), positions taken by educators in handling controversial issues (Kelly, 1986), the heating up and cooling down of socially controversial issues (Legardez & Simonneaux, 2011), neutrality and commitment (Simonneaux & Legardez, 2008), and relationship to uncertainty and challenges (Brossais, 2014).  The aim of this article is to present an outlook of the research relative to teachers’ subjectivity on didactics of socially acute questions, and then to propose an original perspective such as teachers practices clinical analysis coming from clinical didactics French field of research.
This paper situates the context in which my broader study on clinical didactics of socially acute questions takes place.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Emmanuelle Brossais, ÉSPÉ Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, UMR-EFTS, Université Toulouse Jean-Jaurès, GRID-QSV, EDiC

Emmanuelle Brossais is a French lecturer-researcher in educational sciences. Her broad aim is to articulate subject and knowledge in her researches relative to teacher practices. The subject, referred to freudian and lacanian psychoanalysis, is the subject of unconscient. Knowledge is referred to unconscient and its also knowledge to teach that is contents of knowledge described by French didactics theory. Her qualitative researches essentially aim to describe and understand teachers choices, and the meaning it has for them.

Emmanuelle B est une enseignante-chercheur française en sciences de l’éducation. Son objectif principal est d’articuler savoir et sujet dans ses recherches sur les pratiques enseignantes. Le sujet est celui de l’inconscient, il est également le savoir à enseigner, soit les contenus de d’enseignement, tels que pensés par les didactiques des disciplines. Ses recherches qualitatives ont des visées essentiellement descriptives et compréhensives pour étudier els choix des enseignants et le sens qu’ils prennent pour eux.