In common with most industrialised countries, France has undertaken an ambitious programme of education reform over the last fifteen years. This book uses key extracts from contemporary writing to examine exactly how and why that process has happened, focusing on all stages of the education system. Sections cover the main characteristics of school reform in France, its aims and objectives, a discussion of the desirability of and politics surrounding the reform process, and explorations of classroom practice, the changing role of parents, standards in schools, and the curriculum. Because of its high quality, wide and up-to-date coverage of the area, this book will be a vital reference text for all those working in this field.
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Preface Part I Context 1 Secular, free and compulsory: republican values in French education 2 Education and training in Europe for the year 2010 Part II Aims 3 The ‘loi Jospin’: The Education Framework Act 1989 4 Work, worth, talent 5 Now or never 6 Avoiding the break-up of the French education system Part III Actors 7 Constraints on policy innovation in education: Thatcher’s Britain and Mitterrand’s France 8 Policy implementation in the French public bureaucracy: the case of education 9 Challenging the idea of centralized control: the reform of the French curriculum in a European context 10 Decentralizing the education system: A test for the regions 11 The regions in the educational race 12 A changing focus of power: from the all-powerful state to the user-customer Part IV Structures 13 Nursery education for the two-year-old: social and educational effects 14 Educational homogeneity in French primary education: a double case study 15 A lesson in progress? Primary classrooms observed in England and France 16 Lower secondary education in France: from uniformity to institutional autonomy 17 The educational renovation of the lycée: continuity or change? 18 A sociology of the lycée student 19 Special education in France 20 From the schoolteacher to the expert: the IUFM and the evolution of training institutions Part V Values 21 Principles for reflecting on the curriculum 22 A pair of boots is as good as Shakespeare 23 The educational maelstrom 24 Is differentiated teaching out of date? 25 Academic failure, social failure: teaching in the lost suburbs 26 Scarves, schools and segregation: the foulard affair 27 The child, a citizen at school