Francois-Marie Gerard and Mohamed Miled from BIEF, an organization for
consultation and intervention studies, presented Lebanon's new education
system to a group of teachers and students from AUB and other institutions
on April 25. Dr. Karma El-Hassan, Education Department associate professor,
introduced the Project for Improving Evaluation and School Assessment
in Lebanon. She explained that the project aims to eliminate the system's
current disadvantages such as vagueness, lack of resources, performance,
Gerard, in simultaneous translation from French to English, gave an overview
of the goals and objectives of BIEF before moving on to a detailed account
of Lebanon's existing, though flawed, competence-based approach in education.
Gerard stated that competence now means "carrying out tasks with
efficiency" and that "what we have now continues what we had
before and pushes it forward. It doesn't deny it." Gerard then explained
that the school, like the market, has to change and evolve because of
high demand. He referred to Xavier Roegiers, director of BIEF, who defines
competence as the "possibility for an individual to mobilize in an
internalized manner, an integrated set of resources in view of solving
a problem-situation belonging to a family of situations." Gerard
presented a plan based on the movement from an objective-based pedagogy
to a concept-based approach focusing more on constructivism than behaviorism.
He stated that the BIEF approach disqualifies strictly systematic learning
processes and follows the pedagogy of integration and linear approaches.
Studies on this method at first received low success rates globally because,
Gerard explained, students were not able to solve the task they were given
because they were not taught how to.
The two-hour forum ended in questions posed mostly by AUB professors and
Makassed teachers concerning the applicability, reliability, and validity
of the competence-based approach in schools in Lebanon.