STORIES OF A NATION'S EDUCATION
– Writer(s): Françoise DAVISSE, Adila BENEDJAÏ-ZOU, Carl ADERHOLD Contact
Sequel to the series Stories of a Nation: Immigration.
If there is one experience shared by all, it is that of having spent your childhood learning the same things, according to the same ritual. In short that of having been a pupil.
Making a pupil of every child is a fairly new idea: quite impossible to go back to Charlemagne; school as we recall it in its unchanging way starts rather with the French Revolution.
The challenge is first of all political: it is a question of knowing what education the French must have in common. This particular battle is not really waged to meet the needs of children but that of the Nation. Because the school is a coin with two sides: that of a common experience of all French people, and that of an affair of state. Undoubtedly, the greatest affair of state of the two preceding centuries.
For most of the 19th century, the state decided to entrust education to the Church, until the Third Republic tried to upend everything. Before turning into a prolonged struggle between Church and State for the control of education, the 19th century came up with a new idea: taking over the mental and physical construction of all children in order to shape a modern country.
In the 20th century, the effort of the state was directed at training workers and managers for its modernization until, at the start of the 21st century, school ceased to be a central issue for the nation.
This new collection of "Stories of a Nation’s Education" is told through many personal testimonies that allow us to link the "little personal stories" of our students to the "great history" of the Nation.
This story is enriched by numerous archives and photos, first and foremost the famous class photo. It is part of our history and our collective imagination…