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Research in action

Concept and history of laboratory schools

Lab schools, or “laboratory schools,” are innovative schools operated in cooperation with university departments. They were born in North America at the end of the 19th century (lab schools of UCLA and Toronto are still active to this day). The collaboration between pilot schools and research laboratories focused on pedagogical innovation naturally promotes the circulation of knowledge, the exchange of skills, and emulation between actors. It also contributes to the application and dissemination of results to other establishments, both locally and across borders.

In general, lab schools strive to promote:

  • dynamic classes

  • research that benefits children

  • programs for teachers

The values of lab schools:

  • dissemination of scientific results

  • openness to teachers and researchers around the world

  • commitment to inclusion

Action research

In lab schools, exchanges between researchers and teachers are prioritized due to the proximity between the school and the laboratory. However, the subjects of research and the methodology remain specific to each school, as is the degree of participation and the roles of the various actors in the research process. 

A lab school is characterized by the application of a scientific approach to education. This "evidence-based education" seeks to promote educational practices based on research, as opposed to practices based on simple representations or on philosophies. Action-based research is also centered on teamwork, through collaboration and exchanges around research.

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Our ambitions and objectives

Continued enrichment in educational sciences

Research in lab schools is most often carried out by young researchers at the end of their studies (master’s or Ph.D) under the supervision of a senior researcher. They are sometimes conducted in collaboration with government-run schools. The Lab School Network has thus welcomed students from different universities (Paris-Descartes, Paris-Diderot, Paris 8, Rouen, North Carolina at Chapel Hill) as well as EHESS, CRI and Sciences Po. Some studies have been carried out within the framework of the Lab School Paris, others in collaboration with government-run schools.

Projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (CARDIE de Paris)


  • Action research Becoming a learning district


  • Participation in the Professional Development Group (GDP) on school-wide well-being


  • Action research: Help me to learn with my emotions, in collaboration with a priority education area school in the 19th arrondissement


  • Participation in the Professional Development Group (GDP) on Learning Districts



 Research as part of the

Lab School Network is to be shared, in order to benefit the greatest number, in a constructive and collaborative way. >Discover our resources


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We welcome a few interns

every year, studying different disciplines (education, psychology, communication ...).

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As part of the Erasmus + project, the Lab School seeks to share its experience with other schools in Europe.


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Training courses

and support

Training courses

are offered to teachers of

the Lab School Paris as part of their professional development. They are accessible to education professionals who adhere to our educational values ​​and are looking for innovative training.


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We are all researchers!

In the 19th century, teacher John Dewey was already advocating for the method of “learning by doing.” It makes the student active, by learning from his or her centers of interest. Children are naturally curious, eager to learn, and discover the world around them. At the Lab School Paris, children take part in research-based learning projects based on their requests. These projects can be implemented by calling on researchers from different disciplines or with the assistance of the educational program “Les Savanturiers,” developed by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research "in order to introduce students to the creativity of critical thinking, to the rigor of research and cooperation in the service of the common interest, "Les Savanturiers" are committed to training humanist citizens and actors in a fair society, for production and sharing of knowledge." 

Continued development for a new model of education 

The Lab School Paris works in close collaboration with actors from different horizons involved in educational renewal: The Lab School Network. The network focuses in particular on improving school climate and learning to co-exist, on one’s well-being in education, as well as on the dissemination and evaluation of educational innovations. 


The function of the Lab School Paris is also to contribute to the study and production of knowledge in education. It is part of a dynamic pedagogical renewal in which more and more teachers, parents and researchers are now engaged, in a constructive and collaborative way. This is why educational materials designed by our educational team are regularly shared online. Meanwhile action research will be undertaken, whenever possible, involving other structures, both private and state-led, in France and abroad.


The scientific approach by Savanturiers

De Boston à Singapour, voyage dans les cultures du leadership scolaire - Romuald Normand

De Boston à Singapour, voyage dans les cultures du leadership scolaire - Romuald Normand

A l’occasion de notre deuxième Petit-déjeuner scientifique de l’année 2021, Romuald Normand est intervenu sur le thème « De Boston à Singapour, voyage dans les cultures du leadership scolaire ». Nous verrons alors comment les organisations scolaires sont dirigées aux Etats-Unis, en Finlande, en Nouvelle-Zélande, à Singapour et comment cette direction évolue en fonction des critères éthiques et sociaux. Romuald Normand est professeur à l'Université de Strasbourg, Faculté des sciences sociales. Il travaille sur la comparaison internationale des systèmes éducatifs et des politiques d’éducation, les transformations de l'organisation scolaire et les enjeux de leadership. Il est chercheur associé à l'Institut des Hautes Etudes en Education et Formation, à l'Université Normale de Pékin, et l'Université d'Aarhus-Copenhague. Il publiera dans quelques semaines un ouvrage The cultural and social foundations of educational leadership Normand R., Moos, L. LIU M, Tulowitzski P. (eds). Ce livre identifie les fondements culturels et moraux de la direction scolaire dans différents pays et présente les principes de justice comme la diversité des biens communs qui guident les pratiques de leadership. Il contribue à un domaine de recherche existant sur la diversité sociale et le leadership éthique dans les écoles et les établissements scolaires. L'ouvrage rassemble les contributions d'une série d'auteurs internationaux capables de rendre compte des caractéristiques morales et culturelles du leadership scolaire, tout en élargissant les perspectives de recherche sur la direction scolaire.

We are all researchers!

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