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Title: A sociological appraisal of the French educational system in the light of recent reforms
Author: Lince, Andre S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3610 4467
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1972
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The thesis: brings out the educational experience of the 800,000 French children children who, at the age of about eleven, every year transfer from their primary school into secondary education; follows the pupils for seven years when about one in three sits the Baccalaureate examination. Some 24 per cent, of the age group qualify, which entitles them to a university place; consists of a sociological appraisal of the bureaucratic French educational system, with particular reference to the post-1959 reforms; confirms that the educational reforms of the methods that France has devised to deal with the education of its children have been for some considerable time in turn contradictory, inconsistent, ineffective, and inefficient; looks into the debate on the "relative homogenisation" theory, in an attempt to find out whether there is evidence to warrant the assumption that educational systems are becoming more alike. In PART I, we examine the development of French secondary education. As soon as we are familiarized with the educational scene (chapter 1), we shall then be able to figure out the importance given to "culture" in French Secondary education (chapter 2). Next we shall question the validity of some of the claims made in favour of "classical culture" (chapter 3). Chapter 4 provides a historical account of the far-reaching ideal of an "Ecole unique", a concept which caught the eye of the post-World War II reformers (chapter 5). PART I ends with a chapter on the teaching profession (chapter 6). PART II, which deals with contemporary reforms, is divided into three sections. Section A is devoted to secondary education. The 1959 reform (chapter 7) was soon followed by complementary measures (chapter 8), which imposed a strain on the government service with regard to their implementation (chapter 9). Economic expansion is tied up with education (chapter 10) and in particular with an ever-growing percentage of people reaching a high Terminal Education Age (chapter 11). As this is influenced by social class (chapter 12), it has implications for the democratization of education (chapter 13). In Section B, after being acquainted with the university faculties (chapter 14) and the student unrest (chapter 15), we shall see how the old structures were deftly replaced by new ones (chapter 16) and the setup peculiar to Paris (chapter 17) with regard to the educational challenge (chapter 18). In Section C, Chapter 19 brings out the reasons why further reforms are deemed necessary, whilst chapter 20 provides some indications of the value attached to "training throughout life" and how the French Government sets out to give "a second chance" to every French worker in the course of the nineteen seventies. PART III starts by probing policy making on educational matters in France (chapter 21), which is followed by a critical appraisal of the efficiency of the government service with regard to the educational system (chapter 22). Finally, the thesis ends on a discussion of the "convergence theory".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available