Bac 2022 – SES topics: back to a false controversy

“VYou will show that the action of public authorities in favor of social justice can have biased effects ”, that“ the approach in terms of social classes of accounting for French society can be questioned ”and that“ the innovation can help push ecological limits to growth. ”Translated pro-liberal by some teachers, students and commentators, these are the topics of the 2022 baccalaureate economics and social sciences specialty test, presented on May 12, sparked controversy, especially on social networks.A professor of philosophy (@trineor) qualified them, in particular, on Twitter as “pathetic politically oriented”.

“These topics are in line with everything that falls every year! Says Solène Pichardie, president of APSES (the first association of teachers of economics and social sciences) and SES teacher at Paimpol academy. But these” are ” controversy always comes, “he recalls. And for a simple reason: the format of the event. The candidate who chooses the subject of the composite test (and not the dissertation) is expected to” present an argument “,” that inevitably leaving little room for nuance “, he pointed out. Thus, the professor explains:” If one of the questions provokes ‘adverse effects’ of the action of public authorities, it may also be mentioned. its ‘positive effects’, which are also in the program. »

“symmetrical” question

“We forgot to say that this is just one of twelve subjects in economics and social sciences that fall into the baccalaureate. [en métropole, outre-mer et dans les lycées de l’étranger, NDLR] Christophe Lavialle, dean of the general inspection of economics and social sciences, also noted that the topics – not over the programs – were not written by the Ministry of Education, but “by commissions of dozens of professors who headed by the Inspector General. and works independently “. What “the people who bring up these controversies know, in general, is very good”, he laments.

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“No right or left orientation”, thus assured the inspector, citing as proof of this a “symmetrical” question found in another SES subject (which fell the day before the controversial test, ie May 11) which evokes “taxation and social protection as a reduction in inequality in standard of living”.

The goal of learning economics and social sciences (a multidisciplinary subject called economics, sociology and political science), he assures us, is to “exactly put ideological debate at a distance to build theoretical knowledge and to can return to the debate in a rational way, more intellectually armed ”. Therefore, if this discipline itself is “an area of ​​debate”, students must first (who are familiar with it in the second) that they “master a certain amount of knowledge”, so that they “do not fall into one. a form of relativism, where all opinions are the same, ”he said.


“It is because this topic deals with representations of working in society that it crystallizes tensions so much”, Claude Lelièvre, educational historian, is specific about this latest controversy. And keep in mind that attempts at change always come from many backgrounds and political sensitivities: “This year, teachers are advancing the plate. Already in 2018, they are criticizing the new program for the axis. “market economy.” But we have also often witnessed offensives from groups of employers who want to change the line that is considered too macro-economic and closely related to social issues in programs. in SES, ”according to the specialist.

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“APSES claims [qui a rédigé plusieurs communiqués au sujet du programme de première, qu’elle estime précisément trop largement consacré au marché, NDLR] purely scientific ”, assures Solène Pichardie, who defends herself from any“ political approach ”:“ Most professors and scientists are involved in ensuring that our subject does not become a field of ideological confrontations, reassured. Especially since these controversies may suggest the opposite and not give a very good image of our discipline. »

Beware of the “magnifying glass effect” that many Christophe Lavialle: “The programs are partly designed by SES teachers, he recalls. As for these controversies, it is only a fact of some …”

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