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Napoleon's Revolutionized French Education System

Uploaded by zqtwp on Dec 14, 2005

Napoleon organized the educational system of the revolutionary period, added a stable structure, and supplied the universities with teaching staff. Students received a well-rounded education, and would only advance in school after proving that they had retained knowledge by producing satisfactory examination scores.
French clergy and nobility had been calling for improvements in the educational system. Pondering the problems of the 1789 educational system led to consideration of "the duties and prerogatives of the state, the rights of parents, the potential benefits of higher education, the economic needs of the nation, the necessity for training teachers, and the suitable status of the teaching profession in a republic" (Vignery 21).
A decree passed in 1794 named teacher training the top educational priority. An emphasis was now being placed on schooling and curriculums were changed. The Paris Normal school plan of study included "republican morality and public and private virtues, as well as the techniques of teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, practical geometry, French history and grammar" (Bernard 154). Public secondary schools, or ecole centrals, were organized for every 300,000 people. The secondary school curriculum included literature, language, science, and arts. The decree which established the ecole centrals stated that:
"the age-range of the pupils will be from eleven or twelve to seventeen or eighteen"every school is to have one professor of each of the following subjects: mathematics; experimental physics and chemistry; natural history; scientific methods and psychology; political economy and legislation; the philosophic history of peoples; hygiene; arts and crafts; general grammar; belles letters; ancient languages; the modern languages most appropriate to the locality of the school; painting and drawing. Every central school is to have attached to it a public library, a garden and a natural history collection, as well as a collection of scientific apparatus and of machines and models relating to arts and crafts (Bernard 171).
Central schools were strengthened by the requirement that anyone seeking a position in the government had to show evidence that he had attended one of the schools of the Republic (Bernard 185-186).
Napoleon was convinced that the breakdown of order during the Revolution was because of the state's inability to establish a system of education that could replace what the Church had maintained previously. "The time was not ripe, however, for accomplishing these reforms. It needed the drastic purgation of the Revolutionary period, followed...

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Uploaded by:   zqtwp

Date:   12/14/2005

Category:   European

Length:   6 pages (1,317 words)

Views:   9541

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