The French prison school model

Days are long and students are passive, from kindergarten to university. This creates generations of adults who continually need to be mentored, and frustrated at not being able to find their field of excellence. Everyone is good at something.

In France, the model of school organization has not changed much since the end of the 19th century: it remains based on a kind of prison system that does not emphasize the autonomy of the child.

French schools teach children to obey and to be certified copies. You have to be in the unique model. In many European countries, especially in Northern Europe, the school is much more focused on the autonomy and emancipation of the child (eg in Sweden).

The days are long and the children are passive, from kindergarten to university. This disciplinary order is considered so fundamental in France, that since September 2019, the school is compulsory from 3 years old.The only way to get the child out of this boring and conformist order is to be able to pay for unaffordable schools for most people, which concentrate high social classes or/and high potential children thus preventing any social mix. The other solution is schooling by “CNED” which is a public institution under the Ministry of National Education whose purpose is to offer distance education. This solution doesn’t socialize the child and seems to be accompanied by extra-curricular activity.

In general, France appears as a country struggling to reform.

Children seem to be regarded as a burden, future adults to channel so that they pay pensions slowly; and not as people who can think and think for themselves.

The major disadvantage of the French egalitarian system is to risk annihilating talents of all children. All children have a talent of their own but because of this standardization of education, few of them will succeed in finding their true fulfillment.

This creates generations of adults who continually need to be mentored, and frustrated at not being able to find their field of excellence. Everyone is good at something.

One of the goals of the school should be to find that talent in every child, and not to want to lock it into a single uniform box. I also think that it has repercussions in the personal life because the school creates people scared and not very enterprising.

Society still looks badly at innovation and free spirits. From the beginning of the school, fantasy and originality, difference, are not valued.

There are no ideal solutions but the school of the republic should think about reforming itself deeply by looking at other models. The school must be at the service of the child.

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